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North Shore YMCAs undergo major energy efficiency changes

Posted by Terri Ogan  March 1, 2013 02:33 PM

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After several years of research and study, the YMCA of the North Shore has launched an enterprising energy efficiency program to improve the organization’s social responsibility, save money and save energy.

The project, which is being referred to as “Greening our Y,” will take place at YMCA locations in Haverhill, Ipswich, Beverly, Salem, Marblehead and Swampscott.

“We think that in doing something like this that it can be replicable for not only YMCAS but other organizations as well,” said YMCA CEO Jack Meany. “And we think that it’s pretty innovative.”

The locations undergoing adjustments have just begun seeing the actual physical changes to the buildings. These include new pool covers, new solar panels, new efficient boilers and computerized lighting and heating control.

Meany added that members will see contractors throughout the building, but they shouldn’t feel any interruption or service. He said he’s hoping that it will be seamless to the members.

According to a recent announcement, the process started about three years ago by sending a work proposal to 20 Energy Savings Corporations (ESCO) that work with organizations, like the YMCA, to create a plan for making their buildings more energy efficient, and guarantee a payback in savings over a period of time.

In the first 10 years of the payback period 85 percent of the savings will go toward paying the debt service of putting the program in place and 15 percent will go to the organization.

“Fifteen percent is nothing to sneeze at,” Meany said. “But it is a substantial number when we get past the 10-year period. It should allow the Y to use those resources to do more for the community so we look at it as a real win.”

Those involved with the project are hoping to wrap things up in September or October of this year.

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