As public concern about global climate change continues to grow, the city of Salem, Mass., is joining with the natural gas utility KeySpan and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to increase energy efficiency throughout the city.
Salem has signed onto the EPA’s Community Energy Challenge, a pledge to reduce energy use in municipal buildings by 10 percent. To begin, the city of Salem will work with KeySpan and the EPA to assess building energy performance, including heating and cooling systems and to identify efficiency upgrades.
As a further part of its campaign, KeySpan is working with Salem and other communities on multiple levels, a process that includes the following:
- Providing communities with business development grants and other incentives, resources to both public and private developers to institute green building designs, and financial incentives for upgrading to efficient technologies
- Funding to train facility managers on green building operations and management
Since introducing its energy-efficiency programs in New England in the early 1990s, KeySpan investments and incentives saved customers nearly $1 billion—enough energy to heat nearly 27,000 homes for 20 years. KeySpan’s Energy Efficiency programs in New England have a goal for 2007–2008 of saving enough energy to heat about 70,000 homes for one year.
These energy savings will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by more than half-a-million tons—the equivalent of taking nearly 100,000 cars off the road for one year.
The EPA is inviting communities to join the Community Energy Challenge and become an Energy Star Partner; to measure the energy performance of municipal buildings, schools and facilities; and to set a goal of reducing their energy use by 10 percent or more, promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy.
For more information on how to sign up, visit www.epa.gov. EC