Energy Efficiency, Sourcing Renewables - March 15, 2021
Boston completes Phase 1 of $45M municipal energy initiative
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh announced March 11 that the city completed the first phase of its energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative that includes a $45 million investment into the upgrading of city-owned buildings.
The first phase of the Renew Boston Trust initiative includes projects to reduce energy use, save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in libraries, community centers, police and fire stations. The initiative is expected to save the city $680,000 in its first year and includes projects such as lighting upgrades, HVAC equipment replacements, building management systems and the installation of solar panels across 14 municipal buildings.
“Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our lifetimes, and the City of Boston must lead by example in our commitment to building healthier, sustainable, and more equitable communities,” Mayor Walsh said in a statement. “The Renew Boston Trust is a smart, forward-thinking program for the City of Boston, and allows us to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that pollute our neighborhoods and further climate change.”
Renew Boston Trust is part of the City of Boston’s 2019 Climate Action Plan, which includes a target to become carbon neutral by 2050. The project was kicked off with the installation of a solar canopy at Boston Police Headquarters, which will produce 242,000 kWh annually. Solar installations were also made at the BCYF Roslindale Community Center and the BCYF Tobin Community Center, each of which is expected to generate $4,000-$6,000 in energy cost savings in the first year.
The first phase of the project entailed $11 million of the total investment through an energy savings performance contract and should reduce municipal emissions by 1%.
The next phase of the project will involve $20 million into energy conservation efforts across 31 city buildings. In 2019, Mayor Walsh signed an executive order requiring all new municipal buildings to be net zero.
“In Boston, buildings account for nearly 70 percent of the emissions that contribute to climate change,” said Chris Cook, chief of environment, energy, and open space. “The Renew Boston Trust not only makes our buildings more comfortable for employees and visitors, but allows us to re-invest additional savings from these energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades into resiliency measures across the city to build stronger and healthier neighborhoods across Boston.”