National Grid Opens Doors to New England’s First Sustainability Hub in Worcester, Mass.
New England’s first-of-its-kind Sustainability Hub opened its doors today at 912 Main Street in Worcester, Mass. and is now providing hands-on education about energy efficiency and emerging energy technologies for National Grid’s customers and the community at large. The 2,200 square foot interactive space was donated by Clark University and is an integral part of National Grid’s Smart Energy Solutions Program, the largest and most comprehensive smart grid program in Massachusetts.
Today’s grand opening featured state and local leaders, including Congressman James McGovern, Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan and Worcester City Manager Michael O’Brien, as well as Worcester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Timothy Murray and National Grid representatives. Students from Clark University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute also were on hand to provide informational tours of the Sustainability Hub.
“The Sustainability Hub is a terrific demonstration of National Grid’s commitment to our customers and innovation,” said Marcy Reed, president, National Grid in Massachusetts. “We are excited to welcome the community into this unique setting so they can learn firsthand about the technologies and tools available to help them save energy. The Hub is not only the first facility of its kind in New England, but was built with donations from companies and community groups who share our vision. We are so appreciative of their support and generosity.”
The Sustainability Hub houses interactive exhibits and demonstrations created by Blue Hive to educate customers about how Smart Energy Solutions can maximize their energy savings. This includes helping customers understand how to better manage in-home energy use displays through smart thermostats, smart plugs and smart appliances, as well as test dynamic pricing options. Other exhibits demonstrate smart meters, smart grid electricity system devices, renewables and energy efficiency treatments such as low-e windows, exterior wall insulation and energy efficient hybrid hot water heaters. The Sustainability Hub was renovated using sustainable materials and energy efficient equipment, and it features Worcester’s first street-side electric vehicle charging station.
“This innovative Sustainability Hub is proof of the smart, collaborative economic development that can happen when the public and private sectors work together. This center will provide state-of-the-art education on energy savings and emerging technologies, while helping turning the Main South neighborhood into a national model for energy efficiency, complete with Worcester’s first street-side electric car chargers,” said Congressman James P. McGovern.
“This Hub represents what can be done when companies and community groups work together on common goals,” said EEA Secretary Sullivan. “Massachusetts ratepayers are the benefactors of this partnership, as they now have a place to learn how to save energy in their homes and businesses, which can save them money on their bills.”
Sustainability Hub Features
- Local university student ambassadors from Clark University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute will help staff the Hub, creating cooperative learning opportunities for both local customers and students. Students also will participate in various internship opportunities under the pilot.
- Six students from the Claremont Academy’s Art Studio have designed an abstract mural for one of the Hub’s outside walls that incorporates a conceptual map of the local geography and combines a community, energy and sustainability message. Local artist Jen Swan has transferred the concept onto the outer wall.
- The Sustainability Hub features a community exhibit area that showcases the many efforts by local organizations that are under way throughout the city.
- The Sustainability Hub is fully renovated with sustainable materials and energy-efficient equipment, donated from vendors including Mitsubishi, Cooper/Reflux/Sylvania Lighting, Verizon and Whirlpool.
A-Z Corporation, Westborough, Mass. served as the Sustainability Hub design-build firm. The Worcester Business Development Corporation coordinated construction oversight to fast-track building the facility and helped identify resources including donated materials, appliances and services.
The Smart Energy Solutions Program
National Grid’s Smart Energy Solutions program, which was developed in partnership with customers, the city of Worcester and other key parties, provides participating customers with a new level of choice and control over their energy use through advanced technology, with the goal of empowering customers to save energy, potentially increasing electric service reliability and improving response to power outages.
As part of the Program, National Grid will continue to focus on proactive customer and community engagement that enables customer interaction and education – a key difference that sets this pilot apart from other smart grid programs across the country.
Smart Energy Solutions program calls for installation of advanced metering systems that provide the very latest in technology and security. To date, nearly 14,000 advanced meters have been installed. Installation of the latest technology on the electric system also is under way. This equipment is designed to test and improve reliability and system responsiveness.
National Grid’s pilot was approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities in August 2012. A full pilot launch is planned for next year.
To learn more about National Grid’s Smart Energy Solutions Program and the Sustainability Hub, please visit www.nationalgrid.com/smartenergy .
Following is a list of the companies and community groups who generously donated services and materials for the Hub:
City of Worcester
Holy Name High School
Institutive for Energy and Sustainability
Martin Luther King Empowerment Center
Regional Environmental Council
Worcester Business Development Corporation
Worcester Business Journal
Worcester Community Action Council
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Big Ass Fans
Boston Productions Inc.
Brian Crowley Photography
David Parnes Photography
Mitsubishi Electric Heating & Cooling
Reflex Lighting Group Inc.
About National Grid
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society – to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it ‘joins everything up’.
In the northeast US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.
National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), and owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation, providing power to over one million LIPA customers. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
For more information please visit our website: www.nationalgridus.com