Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bridgewater: Green Community

Bridgewater has emerged as an energy leader in Massachusetts, successfully completing their first round of energy saving improvements as a result of participation in the Green Communities Program.

Bridgewater was designated a Green Community in December 2011 and received a grant of $200,800.00, sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. The funds were utilized to complete energy audits of eight buildings to identify potential projects, reduce energy cost and maximize the return on investment. As a result of the energy audits, projects were completed at the Police Station, Fire Station and Library. Improvements included interior and exterior lighting, HVAC, Air Conditioning upgrades and sensors for vending machines.

The grant was augmented by $50,000 in incentives from National Grid as well as town funds. Annual utility savings is projected to exceed $21,000 as a result of the upgrades. In addition, the town anticipates savings in the maintenance budget. Bridgewater is one of 123 cities and towns in Massachusetts that has earned the Green Community designation. More than $30 million in Green Community grants are at work in local communities on an array of energy activities from reducing energy use in municipal and school buildings to establishing power purchase agreements, technical assistance for renewable energy generation and adopting the latest building codes. The Town hopes to apply in late fall for a second round of Green Community competitive grant funding. Michael Dutton, Town Manager said, “Bridgewater is dedicated to working with the utilities to take advantage of incentives, saving energy and decreasing our carbon footprint by making needed improvements to infrastructure through funding from the Green Communities Designation and Grant Program.”

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