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New England Leaders Rise to Energy Challenge in the New Year

Release Date: 01/10/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – January 10, 2008) – As the new year begins, municipal officials from more than 75 New England communities are taking steps to improve energy efficiency in schools, town buildings, and wastewater treatment facilities by committing to EPA’s Community Energy Challenge.

The communities, located in all six New England states, have pledged to assess energy use, improve energy efficiency, save money and work to expand renewable energy choices. More than two and a half million people – about 20 percent of New England’s total population – live in the cities and towns that have signed on to the challenge.

“We’re excited to work with each of these pioneering communities,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Energy use is the single largest source of air pollution in New England, contributing to seasonal air pollution as well as climate change. The time is right for all our New England leaders to step up to the plate to improve our environment and save money. This is a win-win program.”

Collectively, New England’s cities and towns spend one billion dollars on energy each year. With oil at $100 barrel and other energy prices continuing to rise as well, it is more important than ever for communities to strategically reduce unnecessary consumption in buildings, helping to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Challenge participants will be measuring, or benchmarking, building energy use in schools, municipal buildings or wastewater facilities using the ENERGY STAR “Portfolio Manager” tool. EPA New England is collaborating with regional utilities, non-profits, businesses, and others to promote cost effective energy efficiency measures to communities participating in the Challenge. As a result, participants also have access to a network of resources that can help them improve energy efficiency and take advantage of renewable energy resources in their community.

"Cohasset is excited to participate in EPA's energy challenge,” said William Griffin, Town Manager of Cohasset, Mass. “There are many town officials, residents and school children who are dedicated to the task of increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewal energy sources, and this challenge is a great way to focus attention on this community-based effort.”

Among the participants is the first wastewater treatment system in New England to join the Challenge – the Kennebec Sanitary Treatment District in Maine. Energy use is typically one of the largest operating costs for a wastewater treatment facility. This fall, ENERGY STAR released a new tool specifically designed to assess the energy performance of wastewater facilities. EPA New England is encouraging wastewater treatment plants across the region to join the Challenge and improve energy efficiency in their operations.

“We are pleased to be the first wastewater facility in New England to join the Challenge. Last year, the District installed high efficient boilers and heat recovery ventilation units,” said Timothy LeVasseur, superintendent of Kennebec Sanitary Treatment District in Waterville Maine. “The Energy Challenge and the tools it provides will help us analyze and track the benefits of these significant investments in energy efficiency.”

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, the ENERGY STAR, across all of its programs, saved Americans $14 billion and prevented 37 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2006 alone.

Municipalities participating in EPA’s New England Community Energy Challenge are:

Connecticut: Burlington, Canton, Hamden, Harwinton, Ridgefield, Stamford, West Hartford

Massachusetts: Billerica, Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Cohasset, Dartmouth, Dedham, Easton, Groton, Hanson, Haverhill, Ipswich, Lancaster, Lowell, Mansfield, Medford, Melrose, Milton, Needham, New Bedford, Northampton, Plymouth, Quincy, Salem, Sharon, Somerville, Springfield, Wales, Waltham, Warwick, Woburn

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

New Hampshire: Alstead, Barrington, Bedford, Brookline, Chester, Colebrook, Dover, Enfield, Fitzwilliam, Hanover, Hillsborough, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lincoln, Manchester, Nashua, Rochester, Rollinsford, Sanbornton, Shelburne, Somersworth, Tuftonboro

Rhode Island: North Providence, Warwick

Vermont: Brattleboro, Putney, Richmond, S. Burlington

For more information:

- EPA’s New England Community Energy Challenge (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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