It was my pleasure to attend and present at the 2011 Leading By Example Awards (Leading By Examle Program Website) that were held at the State House in Boston earlier this fall. This year, the LBE Awards recognized ten awardees – made up of agencies, municipalities, public higher education institutions, and individuals – who are making inspiring efforts to adopt clean energy and improve energy efficiency while protecting the environment. It was an honor to recognize these efforts, which will have such a lasting and positive impact on the energy future of the Commonwealth.
The Leading By Example Awards were established in April 2007 by Governor Deval Patrick under Executive Order No. 484. The purpose of the order was to reduce the overall environmental impacts of state government operations, particularly climate and energy impacts. The order established higher energy efficiency standards in the operation of state buildings, and set short- and long-term goals to advance clean energy and efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the Leading By Example program promotes sustainability activities within state government including waste reduction, water conservation, green buildings, alternative fuels, efficient transportation, and recycling.Here are some photos from the event.
The 2011 awards highlighted a variety of innovative public sector sustainability efforts. Recipients included Chelsea Soldiers’ Home, the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority, Mount Wachusett and Massasoit Community Colleges, cities of Boston and Lowell, towns of Easton and Hudson, and individuals from the city of Northampton and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Here are a few standouts:
• Chelsea Soldiers’ Home installed a 60 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) array on a new $1.2 million roof on its largest campus building, along with day lighting controls for hallways that “know” when to turn off or dim when rooms are lit brightly enough by the sun. The Home also replaced older lights with high efficiency lighting systems. The improvements will reduce the Home’s electricity usage by 150,00 kWh and save $24,000 annually.
• Massasoit Community College, with campuses in Brockton and Canton, is host to the 2nd largest solar PV array (370 kW) at any state college or university and is in the midst of a campus-wide energy efficiency project. Together these efforts are expected to reduce the use of fossil fuels and grid electricity by more than 40 percent.
• Melissa Lucas, the Sustainability and Energy Manager at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, oversaw projects such as opening a new green and energy efficient data center, installing lighting upgrades to the loading dock and parking garage, upgrading a campus hot water system and power plant boilers, and the construction of a new Ambulatory Care Center designed to receive a LEED Silver level designation. Under Melissa’s leadership, despite an 18 percent growth in campus square footage from 2002-2010, UMass Medical School has reduced its oil use by almost half.
Congratulations to the award winners!
Solar a “No-Go” on Your Roof? Share Through Community Solar posted on Jul 16
Harvard residents who wanted solar on their homes and were unable to get it due to shading, sloping, or structural barriers, found a solution by sharing the Harvard Solar Garden, an approximately 250 kW project, provides 41 residents and six small businesses with sustainable, clean energy. .
Summer’s Here: Shed Layers and Shed Loads posted on Jul 11
Electricity usage throughout New England reaches its peak during summer heat waves, causing our electricity bills to spike. During periods of high demand, electric utilities typically call on more expensive “peaking” plants to provide extra power. These costs are passed onto larger, non-residential consumers through demand charges on their monthly electricity bill. Municipal buildings can save a significant sum of money if they shut off portions of their electricity during these peak periods.
Massachusetts Rebates Supercharge Electric Vehicle Market posted on Jul 7
The MOR-EV initiative provides rebates of up to $2,500 for electric, fuel cell vehicles and plug-in vehicles with large batteries, and $1,500 for plug-in electric vehicles with smaller batteries. All Massachusetts residents are eligible to receive incentives on purchased and leased new electric vehicles until the rebate funds are gone.