News & Press

Patrick-Murray Administration Awards $16.25 Million in Federal Stimulus Funding for Trailblazing Energy Efficiency Projects


BOSTON - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Ian Bowles today announced that 11 projects will share $16.25 million in federal stimulus funding to demonstrate innovative ways of achieving dramatic energy savings in buildings across the Commonwealth.

Launching between now and June, these projects are expected to create approximately 485 jobs once up and running.

"Using federal stimulus dollars to leverage even more clean energy investment, this High Performance Buildings initiative will invigorate local economies from Boston to the Berkshires," said Governor Deval Patrick. "These 11 projects promise to deliver energy savings beyond what Massachusetts has seen before - cutting long-term operating costs while providing models for other energy efficiency efforts across the Commonwealth and the nation."

"Our administration received an influx of quality projects focused on creating jobs and promoting energy efficiency in buildings across Massachusetts," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "These projects demonstrate the commitment of many businesses and organizations to invest in jobs and clean energy in support of the Commonwealth's long-term economic growth strategy."

"The projects funded through this initiative represent Yankee ingenuity at its best," Secretary Bowles said. "Once again, the Commonwealth is acting as the nation's energy efficiency leader."

A Request for Responses (RFR) issued by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) last fall for $15 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding opened a floodgate of innovation - yielding 114 proposals worth over $250 million in requested project costs. After evaluating the proposals, DOER increased the pool of funding to $16.25 million to accommodate more projects. The 11 selected won approval based on their ability to create jobs, leverage cost sharing, and achieve scalable and dramatic improvements in the energy efficiency of buildings across the Commonwealth. Demonstrating ways to significantly reduce energy use, as well as substituting alternatives for fossil fuel-based heat, the High Performance Buildings initiative will pave the way for widespread building energy performance improvements beyond what existing state- and utility-run efficiency programs can accomplish.

"Making our buildings energy efficient means lower utility bills, more jobs and a cleaner, healthier Massachusetts," said US Senator John Kerry.

 "The Hawthorne Hotel and Appleton Farms are two deserving sites for these federal funds," said Congressman John F. Tierney.  "The Appleton Farms project will be an excellent demonstration of deep energy retrofits as it will be open to the public as a place to interact with and experience the technology and efficiency measures firsthand. And, the Hawthorne Hotel, an 84-year-old icon with rich cultural history, will also be an attractive showcase for the meaningful economic and environmental benefits of high-performance energy efficiency measures to both businesses and the community at large."

DOER's High Performance Buildings initiative is in line with Governor Patrick's March 2008 challenge to the building industry to put the Bay State on a path toward zero net energy buildings. A zero net energy building generates energy on site with clean renewable resources equal to or greater than the total amount of energy consumed over the course of a year. The Governor's Zero Net Energy Task Force recommended two state building projects - at North Shore Community College in Danvers and the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife headquarters in Westboro - to strive for near zero net energy performance. The DOER initiative also advances the Patrick-Murray Administration's clean energy policy agenda, which includes a statutory requirement to decrease greenhouse gas emissions up to 25 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.

"These stimulus funds going toward energy efficiency projects are practical and necessary. We need to continue to find ways to improve our energy efficiency in a way that helps create jobs and reduces operational budgets. These projects will do just that," said State Senator Marc R. Pacheco, Chairman of Federal Stimulus Oversight Committee.

"These projects uphold the mission of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by creating jobs and working towards an environmentally sustainable future.  The DOER did a phenomenal job in choosing projects that best fit the goals of the stimulus as well as keeping in line with the Administration's initiatives to lower our greenhouse gas emissions," said State Representative David P. Linsky, Chairman Federal Stimulus Oversight Committee.

"In January, the Patrick-Murray administration announced approval of three-year energy efficiency plans that make Massachusetts the nation's clear frontrunner in the race to reduce energy waste," DOER Commissioner Phil Giudice. "In that spirit, I am pleased that we've selected for stimulus funding pioneering projects that will demonstrate new ways to make the Commonwealth as energy efficient as it can be."

Projects selected for ARRA funding address one or more of the following challenges:

  • Demonstrate a Deep Energy Retrofit through comprehensive building modifications designed to reduce a building's annual energy use by 50 percent;
  • Demonstrate effective and transformative space conditioning technologies that lead to higher energy efficiencies;
  • Demonstrate programs or solutions to reduce energy use at buildings heated with fuel oil, propane, or other unregulated fuels;
  • Demonstrate a community mobilization program to dramatically increase the rate of participation in energy efficiency or renewable energy programs.

Projects selected for funding are:

Lowell - United Teen Equality Center: $1.9 million
Founded in 1999 as a positive response to local gang violence, United Teen Equality Center (UTEC) is a youth-led agency that blends a drop-in, safe-haven center with more structured workforce development and educational programming. UTEC serves nearly 2,000 young people in Lowell annually. The organization's proposal for a Deep Energy Retrofit combines building envelope treatment with passive heating and cooling techniques, which will condition the center with little to no support from mechanical systems. The result will be a model retrofit and demonstration of passive space conditioning, which also creates jobs and provides long-term energy savings for UTEC, as well as new and expanded opportunities for youth in Lowell.
Start Date: April 2010


Lawrence - Lawrence CommunityWorks: $550,000
Lawrence CommunityWorks, a community-based development group, plans to convert a complex of old mill buildings into a dynamic urban neighborhood. The buildings addressed in this award will be treated with a Deep Energy Retrofit, including insulation, high-efficiency windows, and aggressive air sealing. The units will also be heated by air-source heat pumps, a new technology that will provide the most efficient and cost-effective space conditioning to the building. The project will provide a good residential, multi-family demonstration of this technology and its application to energy efficiency projects in old mill buildings, a building type found throughout the Commonwealth.
Start Date: April 2010

Merrimack Valley Region - Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce: $500,000
The Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce will partner with Nexamp, Inc. of North Andover to provide Merrimack Valley's businesses and industries with turnkey energy efficiency solutions. After targeting immediate energy savings, the project will engage regional banks to finance additional measures and projects resulting from commercial interest. This will provide a demonstration of an effective partnership between local chambers of commerce and clean energy services companies.
Start Date: April 2010

Boston - Castle Square Tenant's Organization: $4.4 million
Castle Square Apartments is a 500-unit, low-income apartment complex, constructed in the 1960s in Boston's South End, majority-owned by residents and represented by Castle Square Tenant's Organization (CTSO). The Castle Square project promises to be among the most ambitious Deep Energy Retrofits at existing multi-family housing in the country, focusing on a mid-rise 192-unit building in the Castle Square Apartment complex. The comprehensive building treatments include wrapping the entire building in super-insulating panels, high-efficiency windows, aggressive air sealing, high efficiency lighting and appliances and mechanical system improvements. CSTO and its partners have leveraged significant funding to dramatically cut energy use and become a model for other low-income and multi-family buildings of this type.
Start Date: April 2010

Salem: Hawthorne Hotel: $1.4 million
Three Corners Realty Trust, owner and operator of Salem's historic Hawthorne Hotel, teamed up with Nexamp, Inc of North Andover to complete a Deep Energy Retrofit. This retrofit will comprise energy efficiency measures such as re-lamping and a high-efficiency distribution system for hot water. Its hallmark item will be the displacement of natural gas heat with geothermal heating and cooling, paired with high-efficiency interior distribution systems. Project partner Nexamp will provide many turnkey solutions to the proposed measures, creating a model approach to energy retrofits in historic buildings.
Start Date: April 2010

Statewide - Mass Energy Consumer's Alliance: $250,000
Mass Energy Consumer's Alliance's program will increase general enrollment in utility-run rebate programs and other existing energy efficiency programs. Mass Energy will leverage its broad consumer alliance network, while partnering with other regional community groups to inform and motivate greater numbers of people to participate in existing programs.
Start Date: April 2010

Statewide - Massachusetts Oil Heat Energy Consortium: $1.7 million
The Massachusetts Oil Heat Council and Conservation Services Group formed a consortium to administer the first comprehensive oil-heat energy efficiency program in the Commonwealth. The program will provide services and rebates for inefficient oil boilers and heaters owned by moderate income families ineligible for low-income fuel subsidies. The program will also improve energy efficiency at oil-heated homes, which comprise 40 percent of the Commonwealth's residences but have no access to existing energy efficiency programs. This comprehensive pilot program could provide a model for similar efforts in the future.
Start Date: April 2010

North Adams - Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art: $800,000
The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation, Inc, operators and owners of the museum in cooperation with the city of North Adams, plan to shift the majority of the museum's heating energy needs from oil heat to biomass. Displacing nearly 75 percent of natural gas use by switching to renewable wood pellet fuel represents the second of four phases of the museum's energy plan. The biomass boiler's transformative space conditioning will be complemented by high-volume/low speed fans for greater air distribution, and advanced lighting controls. The project will demonstrate the application of new conditioning technologies and energy efficiency measures in museum space.
Start Date: June 2010

Franklin/Hampshire Counties - Sandri Companies: $3.2 million
Sandri Companies will undertake a high-impact oil heat program in Franklin and Hampshire Counties, to shift oil heat users to wood pellet boilers. Sandri proposes to install wood pellet boilers at multiple institutional sites throughout the area, including Greenfield Community College and the Greenfield Fire Station. In addition to this, the company will discount energy audits run by partner Next Step Living for a segment of its residential customers. Sandri will also provide incentives to act on audit recommendations, and offer rebates for ultra-low-emission wood pellet boilers. Finally, Sandri will shift resources to become a wood pellet distributor in the area, and continue to expand its operations to displace oil heat with renewable energy
Start Date: May 2010

Springfield - Center for Ecological Technology (CET): $900,000
CET's project involves a 100-year-old warehouse in Springfield, which will undergo a Deep Energy Retrofit consisting of aggressive treatment and insulation of the building envelope. The project will also use air-to-air heat pumps and target small, high-efficiency systems for specific uses - all in lieu of a massive central system. Finally, the renovated warehouse will house a ReStore Center, an ecologically-oriented home improvement store that will allow home improvement customers to experience the energy efficiency measures firsthand.
Start Date: April 2010

Ipswich/Conway/Ashfield/Waltham - Architectural Heritage Foundation: $650,000
Architectural Heritage Foundation, in partnership with Historic New England and the Trustees of Reservations, will complete Deep Energy Retrofits at three historic properties in the Commonwealth: The Lyman Estate in Waltham, the Bullit Reservation in Conway/Ashfield, and the Appleton Farms Center for Agriculture and the Environment in Ipswich. Each of the Deep Energy Retrofits takes a different approach, and will provide valuable information for future retrofits of historic properties. Notable features include a historically sensitive retrofit to the Lyman Estate that preserves historic values of the property, efforts to make the Bullit Reservation a certified "passive house" that uses little to no fossil fuel energy, and a comprehensive building envelope treatment at Appleton Farms including exterior super-insulation, air source heat pumps and solar thermal hot water systems.
Start Date: April 2010

Investments in projects to maximize the energy efficiency of Massachusetts buildings is a critical component of Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, which combines state, federal and, where possible, private efforts to provide immediate and long-term relief and position the Commonwealth for recovery in the following ways:

  • Deliver immediate relief by investing in the road, bridge and rail projects that put people to work today and providing safety net services that sustain people who are especially vulnerable during an economic crisis;
  • Build a better tomorrow through education and infrastructure investments that strengthen our economic competitiveness, prepare workers for the jobs of the future, and support clean energy, broadband, and technology projects that cut costs while growing the economy; and
  • Reform state government by eliminating the pension and ethics loopholes that discredit the work of government and revitalize the transportation networks that have suffered from decades of neglect and inaction.

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