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Newton Mayor Announces New 'Energy-Smart' Initiative

The Energy-Smart Newton program is expected to yield a 20 percent reduction in energy costs by 2020.

A new citywide program is aiming to make the Garden City even greener. 

Standing alongside Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Richard Sullivan, Mayor Setti Warren announced Wednesday the city's new Energy-Smart Newton program. 

Warren unveiled the new initiative at , where he was joined by NSTAR representatives, community leaders and business owners. 

According to a press release issued by the mayor's office, the program will involve energy initiatives on municipal, residential and commercial levels. It is expected to yield a 20 percent reduction in the city's energy by 2020. 

“This exciting new program shows that Newton continues to lead the commonwealth in pushing the envelope toward reducing energy usage,” Mayor Warren said in the press release. “It is absolutely essential that we be as efficient as we possibly can be with all of our resources, including energy. Such a comprehensive undertaking requires strong partnerships, and I look forward to working closely with the state, NSTAR, local businesses and residents in the years ahead.”

The Energy-Smart Newton program has partnered with NSTAR to work on reducing energy costs on both the municipal and commercial side through the Mass Save program.

In addition, residents will have the ability to sign up for a free home energy assessment through the program's partnership with the Green Decade Eco Project

“We’re looking to communities like Newton to take our energy challenges head-on by developing innovative programs, fostering community participation and setting ambitious clean energy goals,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. in the statement. “I’m proud of the work this community is doing to demonstrate leadership in stabilizing energy costs, reducing our dependence on foreign sources of power and reducing energy use.”

Additional details on the initiative are included in the press release below:

Newton – Joined by Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Richard Sullivan, representatives from NStar, businesses and residents, Mayor Warren announced today the Energy-Smart Newton program, building on his successful track record of achieving energy efficiency. Under Mayor Warren’s leadership, Newton has become one of the greenest communities in Massachusetts. As part of his commitment to being as efficient as possible with all of our resources, the Mayor announced today a new, innovative approach to energy efficiency.

Mayor Warren’s administration has dramatically reduced energy costs that will save millions of dollars in the coming years, helping to make Newton one the greenest communities in Massachusetts. Among the energy efficient accomplishments of the past two years are the conversion of municipal buildings from oil to gas heat, and a locked-in gas price has been negotiated, saving the city close to $2 million over the next four years. We have partnered with the state’s Green Community Program and received a $679,000 state grant to reduce energy costs in one of our least efficient buildings, the Lower Falls Community Center. As a result, 2011 saw a 53% reduction in energy costs in this building compared to 2008-2010. Reductions of upwards of 70% are expected when work is completed in the spring, making the building a model for energy conservation enhancements.

Building on that record of successfully reducing energy costs, the Energy-Smart Newton program will bring an unprecedented level of energy efficiency across the entire city. The three-pronged approach to energy reduction will address the municipal, residential, and commercial/industrial sectors. Partnering with local businesses, residents and NStar, this program is expected to yield a 20% reduction in energy costs by the year 2020.

“This exciting new program shows that Newton continues to lead the commonwealth in pushing the envelope toward reducing energy usage,” Mayor Warren said. “It is absolutely essential that we be as efficient as we possibly can be with all of our resources, including energy. Such a comprehensive undertaking requires strong partnerships, and I look forward to working closely with the state, NStar, local businesses and residents in the years ahead.”

“We’re looking to communities like Newton to take our energy challenges head-on by developing innovative programs, fostering community participation and setting ambitious clean energy goals,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. “I’m proud of the work this community is doing to demonstrate leadership in stabilizing energy costs, reducing our dependence on foreign sources of power and reducing energy use.”As part of Energy-Smart Newton, the city is pleased to partner with NStar, who will work with the city to bring down energy costs utilizing the Mass Save program. Through our partnership with NStar, the city expects to save 500,000 killowatts in municipal buildings over the next three years, yielding a savings of approximately $750,000.

“NSTAR has decades of experience working with our customers and local communities to promote energy efficiency awareness and action,” said Penni Conner, NSTAR Vice President of Customer Care. “We applaud Mayor Warren’s commitment to reducing citywide energy use and his dedication to making Newton a greener place to live and work.”

Among the businesses participating in the program will be hardware store National Lumber, who have already seen significant savings through their partnership with NStar. “This is the second time National Lumber will be participating in the NStar Energy Savings program,” said National Lumber’s Gregory Assarian. “We first had our lighting system upgraded through the program in 2008. That event, along with upgrading several of our furnaces and HVAC units, helped us reduce our overall Heat/Light/Power bills by 27% from 2008 to 2011. With the expansion of the program into the heating and air conditioning systems, along with more recent advancements in lighting technology, we look forward to helping reduce the carbon footprint for the environment, while being as efficient and economical as possible.

As part of Energy-Smart Newton, residents can also sign up for a no-cost home energy assessment, to determine how they can conserve energy in their own homes. The program, the Green Decade Eco-Project, is funded through a grant from the Bar Foundation, which the city was instrumental in helping to secure. Already, the Eco-Project has provided cost-free assessments in 400 homes across the city.

“Our mission is simply to help Newton residents live more sustainably,” said Jay Walter, who is overseeing the residential energy assessment program. “The Residential sector accounts for 40% of the city's total carbon emissions. We are working with the Mayor's office to help reduce residential energy consumption and meet the city's energy reduction goal of 20%.”


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