“Cities and towns across New England are rising to the challenge of addressing climate change by finding ways to reduce energy use,” said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “We are working together, sharing knowledge and collectively taking actions that are saving communities’ much needed funds while helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
One New England town that is a participant in the Community Energy Challenge is Salem, Mass. Kimberley Driscoll, Mayor of Salem had this to say about the program: “Our participation in the Challenge means really setting a realistic goal for reducing our energy consumption. That is not only good for us from a budgetary perspective, but obviously has environmental benefits.”
While all Challenge participants have been active on energy issues, the Massachusetts communities of Quincy and Woburn have been leaders in reducing energy from their municipal buildings. Operating schools in those communities costs about forty cents less per square foot than an average school.
Quincy worked with an energy service company and earned ENERGY STAR labels in five schools (Lincoln Hancock Elementary, Snug Harbor Community School, Sterling Middle School, North Quincy High School, and Quincy High School). Woburn, with the help of its Woburn Clean Energy Committee established by Mayor Thomas McLaughlin in June 2008, received the ENERGY STAR label for six schools (Altavesta Elementary, Linscott-Rumford Elementary, Shamrock Elementary, Reeves Elementary, White Elementary, and Woburn Memorial High School).
Energy efficiency projects in other communities include:
- Concord, N.H. conducted energy audits of municipal buildings and to date has saved $239,665 per year – 30 percent more than expected – through retrofitting lighting, weatherization and installing energy management systems throughout their buildings. Energy efficiency projects have resulted in a decrease of 1,487,878 lbs of CO2 emitted by the City each year.
- Warwick, R.I. saved $65,000 yearly by converting to Low Emitting Diode (LED) traffic lights. The City is also working with University of Rhode Island’s new program to train “Energy Fellows.”
Participants in the EPA New England’s Community Energy Challenge include 150 communities from all six New England states. They are:
Connecticut: Ashford, Burlington, Canton, Colchester, Coventry, Cromwell, Danbury, Durham, East Hampton, East Haven, East Lyme, Fairfield, Farmington, Haddam, Hamden, Harwinton, Kent, Lebanon, Manchester, Milford, New Haven, Norfolk, Norwalk, Portland, Redding, Ridgefield, Simsbury, Southington, Stamford, West Hartford, Weston, Willimantic, Windsor, Woodbury, Woodstock
Maine: Berwick, Denmark, Falmouth, Kennebec Sanitary Sewer District, Kingfield, Kittery, Madison, Mechanics Falls, Stockton Springs
Massachusetts: Acushnet, Arlington, Billerica, Boston, Boxford, Brockton, Cambridge, Canton, Charles River Pollution Control District, Chelmsford, Cohasset, Dartmouth, Dedham, Easton, Fall River, Groton, Halifax, Hanson, Haverhill, Hull, Ipswich, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lowell, Malden, Mansfield, Marlborough, Martha’s Vineyard Schools, Maynard, Medfield, Medford, Melrose, Methuen, Milton, Needham, New Bedford, Newburyport, Newton, Norfolk, Northampton, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Quincy, Randolph, Raynham, Salem, Sandwich, Sharon, Somerville, Southeastern Regional School District, Springfield, Tisbury, Wales, Waltham, Warwick, Westwood, Woburn
New Hampshire: Acworth, Alstead, Alton, Antrim, Barrington, Bedford, Brookline, Chester, Colebrook, Concord, Dover, Enfield, Fitzwilliam, Gilmanton, Hampton, Hancock, Hanover, Hillsborough, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lee, Lincoln, Manchester, Marlborough, Nashua, New Boston, Peterborough, Plainfield, Raymond, Richmond, Rochester, Rollinsford, Sanbornton, Shelburne, Somersworth, Tuftonboro
Rhode Island: East Greenwich, North Providence, South Kingston, Warwick
Vermont: Brattleboro, Burlington, Chelsea, Essex Junction, Hinesburg, Putney, Richmond, South Burlington, South Hero
In 2008 alone, buildings and plants earning the ENERGY STAR label across the country have saved more than $1.1 billion in energy costs and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by more than 7 million metric tons.