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Boston Housing Authority makes cost-saving improvements to Charlestown buildings

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  March 8, 2013 01:05 PM

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Energy efficiency improvements have been made to the Boston Housing Authority’s 24 buildings in Charlestown to help the city reduce annual energy and operational costs.

Critical controls, emergency lighting and wiring for new energy efficient boilers were installed by Lynnfield-based J.M. Electrical Company, Inc. as part of the city’s $63 million renovation of its public housing.

The renovations, said to be the largest energy efficiency overhaul in public housing in the nation’s history, are designed to save electricity, water, and millions of dollars.

Framingham-based energy firm Ameresco is handling the three-year project.

“This project is an excellent example of how we continue to move Boston forward,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino said in a statement. “Projects like this prove that low-income housing can also be energy-efficient housing. We’re saving energy, creating jobs, saving the taxpayers’ money and improving low-income neighborhoods all at the same time. On all fronts, this project is clearly a win-win.”

On average, public housing is less energy efficient per square foot than all other U.S. residential households, according to a recent study by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Reducing energy costs in public housing by 10 percent could save nearly $200 million per year in operating expenses.

“We are excited to work with the Boston Housing Authority to reduce their energy usage and to help save the City of Boston in energy costs. We encourage everyone to join the effort in greening our city. Creating energy efficiency reduces our carbon footprint, saves money and creates local jobs for the Commonwealth,” Adam Palmer, J.M. Electrical’s project manager, said in statement.

The Boston Housing Authority has also completed other energy improvements to its buildings through previous energy performance contracts.

The original 1938 heating system at the Mary Ellen McCormack development in South Boston was fully replaced and other heating and water systems were upgraded at state-funded developments across the city for a savings of more than $17 million.

E-mail Kaiser at Johanna.yourtown@gmail.com. For more news about your city, town, neighborhood, or campus, visit boston.com’s Your Town homepage.

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