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Looking for Green, Municipalities Start with Energy Efficiency through EPA Challenge

Release Date: 04/21/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – April 21, 2008) – What does it mean to be green? This Earth Day, one answer can be found in the more than 100 communities that have committed to curb energy use, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and save money through EPA New England’s Community Energy Challenge.

Across New England, 110 communities - located in all six New England states - have pledged to assess energy use, improve energy efficiency by 10 percent or more, save money, and work to expand renewable energy choices. Nearly 3.5 million people, representing 25 percent of New England’s total population, live in the cities and towns that have signed on to the challenge.

“There is a growing energy revolution in New England,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “The 10 percent reduction is only the beginning. In our cities and towns, we see innovation – cutting edge energy technologies, and more than that, the power of collaboration.”

Communities across New England are working with EPA, regional utilities, non-profits, and businesses through a variety of programs to find and promote cost effective energy efficiency measures. Through the Community Energy Challenge, cities and towns can take advantage of free EPA ENERGY STAR tools and resources to assess, or benchmark, building energy use in schools, municipal buildings and/or wastewater facilities. Participants also have access to a network of organizations, professionals and funding opportunities that can help them improve energy efficiency and take advantage of renewable energy resources in their community.

"Improving energy efficiency is the first critical step to reducing greenhouse gas emissions for New England municipalities,” said Kim Lundgren Director ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability - Northeast Region. “ICLEI and EPA have been long-standing partners on driving climate protection initiatives at the local level. EPA New England's Community Energy Challenge is another complementary resource for ICLEI members, enabling local governments to identify opportunities for savings in their existing buildings.”

The New England Community Energy Challenge is a regional program of the ENERGY STAR Challenge, a nationwide campaign to improve energy efficiency in commercial and industrial buildings across the United States by 10 percent or more. Cities and towns that join the New England Community Energy Challenge sign on to be an ENERGY STAR partner, and pledge to support energy efficiency measures. Nationally, Americans, with the help of all the ENERGY STAR programs, saved $16 billion in energy costs, and prevented 40 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2007 alone, equivalent to the annual emissions from 27 million vehicles.

We are pleased to work with EPA New England and its Community Energy Challenge cities and towns. Helping municipal facilities reduce energy consumption is an important goal not just on Earth Day, but every day of the year," said Tim Stout, Vice President for Energy Efficiency at National Grid. "This team effort helps our communities save money and the environment."

The 110 municipalities, school and water districts in the Challenge represent the diversity of New England’s cities and towns - large and small - ranging from Wales, NH (population ~380) to Boston, MA (population ~590,000). Participants in EPA’s New England Community Energy Challenge include:

Connecticut
: Burlington, Canton, Colchester, Cromwell, Danbury, East Haven, East Lyme, Fairfield, Hamden, Harwinton, Norfolk, Norwalk, Portland, Ridgefield, Stamford, West Hartford

Massachusetts
: Acushnet, Arlington, Billerica, Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Charles River Pollution District, Cohasset, Dartmouth, Dedham, Easton, Groton, Hanson, Haverhill, Ipswich, Lancaster, Lowell, Malden, Mansfield, Medfield, Medford, Melrose, Methuen, Milton, Needham, Newton, New Bedford, Newburyport, Northampton, Plymouth, Quincy, Salem, Sharon, Somerville, Southeastern Regional School District, Springfield, Tisbury, Wales, Waltham, Warwick, Westwood, Woburn

Maine
: Berwick, Denmark, Falmouth, Kennebec Sanitary Treatment District, Kingfield, Kittery, Madison, Mechanic Falls, Stockton Springs

New Hampshire
: Acworth, Alstead, Alton, Antrim, Barrington, Bedford, Brookline, Chester, Colebrook, Dover, Enfield, Fitzwilliam, Gilmanton, Hampton, Hancock, Hanover, Hillsborough, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lincoln, Manchester, Marlborough, Nashua, New Boston, Peterborough, Raymond, Rochester, Rollinsford, Sanbornton, Shelburne, Somersworth, Tuftonboro

Rhode Island
: East Greenwich, North Providence, South Kingstown, Warwick

Vermont
: Brattleboro, Burlington, Essex Junction, Hinesburg, Putney, Richmond, S. Burlington

More information:

- EPA’s New England
Community Energy Challenge web site will feature an updated map of the communities by 10:00 am, April 22 Earth Day (epa.gov/region1/eco/energy/energy-challenge.html)
- The
ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool (energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=evaluate_performance.bus_portfoliomanager)

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