Across New England, 30 Communities Take Leadership Role on Energy Issues
Release Date: 07/23/2007
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017
(Boston, Mass. - July 23, 2007) - Thirty New England communities have joined EPA’s Community Energy Challenge, lining up to work with the environmental agency to improve their municipal energy efficiency.
The 30 communities, representing all six New England states, are committing to assess energy use, take action to improve energy efficiency, save money and seek out renewable energy choices that reduce air pollution. Almost two million people – 13 percent of New England’s total population – live in the cities and towns that have signed on to the challenge.
“Energy use is the largest source of air pollution in the region and the country. Through the Community Energy Challenge, municipalities can identify simple and cost-effective measures to increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “This is an opportunity for New Englanders to come together to save energy, reduce air pollution and improve our energy independence. The payoffs for participating can be big.”
Collectively, New England’s cities and towns spend one billion dollars on energy. As much as 30 percent of energy consumed by buildings is wasted, offering program participants a significant opportunity to strategically reduce unnecessary consumption in buildings, while reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
"Fixed costs like energy are a real budget-buster for fiscally strapped cities like Somerville,” said Mayor Joseph Curtatone of Somerville, Mass. “We recently committed to reducing Somerville’s energy consumption by 20 percent in coming years. The EPA Community Energy Challenge provides us the tools and support we need to track our progress on this important initiative - and we're glad to participate."
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.
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.
Last month, the U.S. Conference of Mayors formally endorsed the national ENERGY STAR Challenge as a key strategy to meet the goals of the Conference of Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement. As part of this resolution, the organization encourages its members to support and take the ENERGY STAR Challenge.
Municipalities participating in the Community Energy Challenge include:
New Bedford, MA
- 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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