Massachusetts City Saves Millions with Efficiency Programs

Energy efficiency brings Lowell $4.7M in savings

Lowell Sun, July 19, 2016

The city has saved about $4.7 million on energy costs since starting an efficiency and solar-energy program in 2010, according to a new report.

[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”20″ bg_color=”#8224e3″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]Estimated savings from the project are calculated by comparing costs each year with costs in 2008.[/mks_pullquote]Over a 20-year period, the city expects to save more than $40 million through measures like more efficient lighting, heating and cooling-equipment upgrades, replacing windows and improving insulation.

Lowell has separately saved about $775,000 through solar-panel systems installed at the city’s water utility and wastewater facilities, and at systems in Athol and Orange from which the city uses so-called net-metering credits to save on its energy bills.

Leary said he’d like to find out more about heating and cooling controls that could result in even better savings. City Hall and Pollard Memorial Library, adjacent to one another, use the same temperature controls, he said, making it more difficult to save money when one building is closed if the other must remain cooled or heated.

In all, the energy-efficiency program included making changes at 28 city schools and 19 other municipal buildings including City Hall.

The program includes a solar-panel system installed atop the former Drum Hill landfill that alone was projected to save $1.5 million to $2.5 million a year in savings.

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