Massachusetts currently has over 120 certified Green Communities. Every individual effort to upgrade to energy efficiency helps the overall community. Under the Accelerated Energy Program (AEP), the state facilities have made progress in greener Commonwealth operations. This past spring, the Commissioner at the time, Mark Sylvia of the Department of Energy Resources and Mass Military Division’s Colonel Timothy Mullen celebrated the completion of energy-saving projects at the Pittsfield Armory.
The armory upgraded to energy efficient lighting, more efficient motors, HVAC control systems, and energy management upgrades. The AEP has inspired the Commonwealth to invest over $12 million at 29 state facilities. The current projects are focused in the Berkshires and surrounding areas near the armory.
The AEP is an initiative run by the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance and DOER. This program aims to inspire energy efficiency at 700 state sites over 700 days, which comes to completion at the end of this year. In all, the investment in energy conservation will reach over $400 million statewide, but will reduce annual energy costs by $40 million and decreases state government Greenhouse gas emissions by 135,000 metric tons. By investing in this upgrade now, the state will save millions each year, while reducing our environmental impact.
The Pittsfield Armory is one of 39 Military facilities across the state to undergo retrofits under the AEP. So far, the efforts have been successful. The $90,000 investment in the armory’s efficiency is expected to reduce the Armory’s energy consumption and Greenhouse gas emissions by 58%. These immense savings earn the Armory an AEP Certified Plus designation. This classification is for facilities that achieve at least a 50% reduction in at least two of the three categories: Greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, and energy costs.
The event at the armory this past spring not only commemorated the project’s completion, but the event speakers also acknowledged the overall energy investments throughout state facilities in the area. Buildings that are undergoing—or will be undergoing—energy-efficient retrofits include courthouses, community colleges, offices, transportation sites, and police stations. These projects are expected to reduce energy use by over two million kWh annually, and reduce natural gas consumption by over 130,000 therms. Lastly, Greenhouse gas emissions will decrease by 1,860 metric tons each year. This is equivalent to taking 388 cars off of the roads.
Two other highly successful completed projects include the Berkshire County House of Correction, and the Pittsfield Trial Court. These huge strides towards state efficiency are due in part to MassSave. MassSave works to make energy efficient upgrades accessible to a variety of communities and homeowners throughout the state. From municipal, to state, to home upgrades, every energy-efficient improvement contributes to our state’s growing green reputation.