Today’s much anticipated delivery and installation of new HVAC equipment atop the Framingham Police Department Headquarters will mark the completion of another large energy efficiency project for our municipal buildings. The entire project scope included replacing the equipment at Police Headquarters, as well as all of the rooftop units at the Callahan Senior Center. I’m happy to note that the overall project cost of $428,000 is being offset by a $250,000 Massachusetts Green Communities Grant staff secured in 2016.
The Green Communities program promotes renewable and sustainable energy projects in local government. With the completion of this project, Framingham will have received a total of $511,000 in Green Communities grant awards since being designated a Green Community in 2013. Additionally, as a result of energy efficiency projects completed over the last couple of years, the Town has received more than $430,000 in rebates and reimbursements under the state’s Mass Save and GasNetworks programs.
As part of our participation in the Green Communities program, the Town committed to a goal of reducing its energy consumption by 20% over the five-year period from 2011 to 2016. With over two-thirds of our municipal and school energy consumption in the operation of buildings, the Town’s strategy for reducing energy consumption has focused largely on investments that reduce energy consumption in buildings, particularly through improved efficiency in the area of heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Our initial strategy included reducing Town and School building energy consumption by 22%. As a result of our efforts, as of the end of 2016 we have reduced Town and School energy consumption by 15.5%. Although we have not achieved the 22% goal, partially due to increased operating hours associated with after school and summer use of school buildings, we remain committed pursuing efficiency upgrades to close the gap.
To that end, the Town’s staff driven Energy Management Coordinating Committee continues to pursue strategies to further reduce our energy consumption. In addition to further energy efficiency investments in buildings, we will look more closely at municipal and school vehicles which can be replaced with electric vehicles and hybrids.