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Greenfield PhotoGreenfield Community College (GCC) is the first Commonwealth facility to complete an energy efficiency project through the Commonwealth Facility Fund for Energy Efficiency (CoFFEE), a self-sustaining revolving loan program for state facilities.

Through a partnership between the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) and the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), CoFFEE is a revolving loan fund for state facilities that advances the implementation of cost-effective energy efficiency and water conservation projects. The first project using this funding model was completed at Greenfield Community College in 2015. While this program is for state facilities, the funding model itself can easily be replicated for other organizations and facility types.

GCC began the LED retrofit project after receiving CoFFEE funds in July 2015. Over the summer, an entirely in-house staff, in conjunction with students from the Franklin Country Technical School (FCTS), replaced 392 T8 lighting fixtures with LEDs in the East Building. They installed lighting contained wireless technology that integrates occupancy sensing and daylight sensors. The students learned more than how to retrofit these light fixtures, they learned about working on a real job site, working with the public, and maintaining a safe worksite. For GCC, working with FCTS students both fits its mission of providing educational opportunities for the community and it also helped to offset the cost of the project.

The LEGreenfield CC CoFFEE lightsD kits fit in the existing lighting bays and were quick to install, at 30 minutes each. The lighting system was not tied to any pre-existing controls, cutting down on the time and cost of running new wires. The system comes with dimming behaviors, which can be adjusted remotely based on ambient light levels, reducing the expensive and time consuming commissioning process. Not only is the lighting system energy efficient, it is cost-effective as well.

Annually, Greenfield Community College is expected to save over $14,000 and over 92,000 kWh from this simple upgrade. When factoring in utility incentives, the simple payback will be 1.6 years and over the next ten years, these lights will save GCC almost $150,000 in energy and maintenance cost, as well as the associated greenhouse gas reductions. . The savings from this project will contribute back into the revolving fund until the investment has been paid off. Then the funds will be available for more energy projects. The CoFFEE program allowed GCC to invest in efficiency technology and still meet the complex needs of an academic environment.

On the project and the funding model, Greenfield Community College’s Director of Facilities Management, Jeffrey Marques said “The CoFFEE fund program helped GCC to maximize our environmental benefits through its innovative economic approach in which debt servicing is repaid through energy savings. This allowed the college to implement important energy savings measures, without tapping into the school’s existing budget.” This project further supports Greenfield Community College’s efforts to lead by example and implement sustainable practices across campus.

DCAMM and DOER will be implementing another round of this funding model to state facilities soon, with the goal of achieving even further energy reductions and cost savings. Revolving loan funds are a model that can easily be applied beyond state government. Businesses, municipalities, industrial facilities, universities and others could be applications for setting up a revolving energy fund. Upgrading to LEDs and controls combined with revolving loan funds is a great win-win, we’ll start again, using the savings for another energy project.

Written By:

Ryan Harold is currently the Program Manager for the CoFFEE program, a green revolving fund which provides a low-cost financing mechanism for Massachusetts state agencies to fund energy conservation measures. Ryan is part of the Department of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) Energy team that works to ensure that facilities attain practicable goals in sustainable design and construction, as well as achieve optimal levels of energy and water efficiency. Before focusing on CoFFEE, Ryan worked on the Accelerated Energy Program, an initiative to upgrade energy and water efficiency at 700 sites across Massachusetts.

Ryan has a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire and a M.S. from the University of Colorado. Outside the office, Ryan enjoys skiing, traveling and scuba diving.

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