Patrick-Murray Administration Presents 5th Annual Leading by Example Awards

Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia presents an award to representatives from the City of Lowell at the Massachusetts State House.

Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia awarding the City of Lowell, MA  a DOER designated Green Community (far right: Hal Meyer and Jim Walker, Ameresco)

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Governor Deval L. Patrick
Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray
Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr.

Press Release Contacts:  Catherine Williams – 617-626-1809 or; Lisa Capone — 617-626-1119 or

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 residents of Montague, Leominster applauded for clean energy and environmental quality achievements

BOSTON – October 26, 2011 – Governor Deval Patrick’s Leading by Example Program today recognized two Massachusetts Community Colleges, two state agencies, four municipalities and, for the first time, two individuals for significantly reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, increased recycling, the use of renewable energy and other clean energy, and environmental quality initiatives.

Mount Wachusett Community College and Massasoit Community College, along with the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA) and Chelsea Soldiers’ Home received 2011 Leading by Example Awards at a State House ceremony. Awards also went to the cities of Boston and Lowell and the towns of Easton and Hudson. The fifth annual Leading By Example awards also awarded, for the first time, two individuals who have made significant impacts: Chris Mason of the City of Northampton and Melissa Lucas of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

“Thanks to Governor Patrick’s national leadership on energy efficiency and renewable energy policies, we’re making tremendous headway in pursuit of our clean energy future, with state and local governments setting the pace,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. “This year’s winners have taken steps that will continue to yield long-term environmental and economic dividends for years to come.”

Last week, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) named Massachusetts number one in ACEEE’s annual state-by-state energy efficiency scorecard. Massachusetts topped California in the ranking for the first time with ACEEE noting the Patrick-Murray Administration’s clean energy agenda, which includes the Green Communities Act of 2008 and innovative energy efficiency programs like Leading by Example. View ACEEE’s report here.

Leading by Example was established by an April 2007 Executive Order in which Governor Patrick directed agencies of state government to improve energy efficiency, promote clean energy technology, and reduce their environmental impacts. The Executive Order calls on state government to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent, reduce energy consumption at state-owned and leased facilities 20 percent, and procure 15 percent of energy from renewable sources by June 2012. In addition, it established the Mass LEED-Plus building standard for new state construction, which requires energy performance to be 20 percent better than code.

Leading by Example efforts have resulted in significant accomplishments in recent years, including an increase in the amount of installed solar PV at state facilities from 100 kW in 2007 to more than 4 MW in 2011 and an increase in the amount of installed wind at state facilities from 660 kW in 2007 to over 8 MW in 2011.

The Green Communities Division works with all Commonwealth municipalities to help them maximize energy efficiency in public buildings, including schools, city halls, and public works and public safety buildings; generate clean energy from renewable sources; and manage rising energy costs. Since 2010, 74 municipalities have been designated as Green Communities, qualifying them for more than $15 million in funding for clean energy projects and initiatives.

Awards go each year to state agencies, public higher education institutions, municipalities, and individuals that demonstrate outstanding clean energy and environmental leadership. Today’s State House awards ceremony was officiated by Secretary Sullivan, Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia, Division of capital Asset Management (DCAM) Commissioner Carole Cornelison and Operational Services Assistant Secretary Gary Lambert.

“The Leading by Example Program is integral to Governor Patrick’s clean energy agenda,” DOER Commissioner Sylvia said. “I congratulate these ten awardees for demonstrating leadership and initiative that benefits the Massachusetts environment and our clean energy economy. I’m confident their leadership will inspire other public agencies across the Commonwealth to go the extra mile as well.”

“DCAM is excited to be a partner with the Department of Energy Resources and Operational Services Division in the Patrick Administration’s efforts to promote sustainable energy practices at state facilities,” said DCAM Commissioner Cornelison.

This year’s awards recognize an array of clean and energy efficient initiatives including heating system replacement, energy efficient building renovations, aggressive recycling, innovative LED street lighting installations, and renewable energy system installations.

In the state college and university category, Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) has achieved a 48 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from a 2002 to 2004 baseline, which makes MWCC the largest greenhouse gas reducer of any Massachusetts state college, university, or agency. Thanks to an array of projects, including investments in biomass, a 100- kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) installation, solar hot water systems, and the recent installation of two 1.65 megawatt wind turbines on its campus, MWCC is expecting clean energy to generate 97 percent of the college’s annual electricity demand.

“We are extremely proud and honored to receive this Leading by Example award for the groundbreaking work that has been underway at Mount Wachusett Community College for more than a decade, including the recent installation of two wind turbines,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. “Our hope is that our energy initiatives will serve as a model for other institutions in the Commonwealth and across the nation, as we strive to reduce our reliance on foreign fuel and protect the environment through a combination of ingenuity and commitment to future generations.”

The other winner in this category, Massasoit Community College was recognized for a variety of energy efficiency and clean energy efforts. Massasoit is working with DCAM to implement a comprehensive energy and water conservation performance contract which entails high-efficiency lighting, weatherization, new HVAC roof-top units, a retractable solar pool cover system, and high efficiency transformers. Over the 20-year life of the three phase project, the college is expected to reduce its energy use by almost 40 percent and lower its energy bills by up to $17 million. Additionally, the College recently celebrated the installation of a multi-building 370 kW solar panel array which will produce over 450,000 kWh of clean, renewable electricity and save up to $60,000 in energy costs for the college

In the state agency category, MWRA, received a Leading by Example Award for a series of innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives. These include two 190-foot, 600 kW wind turbines at Deer Island, a 1.5 MW wind turbine recently erected in Charlestown, over 1 MW of solar PV arrays on multiple sites, methane anaerobic digesters, and high-efficiency lighting improvements. All told, these and other energy efforts are reducing the MWRA’s energy bills by millions of dollars each year, as well as generating over $2 million in revenue through the sale of renewable energy certificates and participation in a demand response program, which is a program that pays participants to reduce energy demand during emergency peak times. MWRA also received an award in 2007 and is the only repeat winner honored this year.

“Governor Patrick has set ambitious renewable energy goals for the Commonwealth, and we have worked hard at every level of the agency to achieve them,” said MWRA executive director Fred Laskey. “We are honored to receive this award for a second time.”

The Chelsea Soldiers’ Home, a multi-faceted health care facility for eligible veterans of Massachusetts that originally opened in 1882, received an award for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable procurement activities. As part of its modernization efforts, the Soldiers’ Home installed a new $1.2 million roof on its largest campus building, on top of which was installed a 60 kW solar PV system, and daylighting controls for hallways, and replaced older lights with high efficiency lighting systems. All told, these improvements will reduce electricity usage by 150,000 kWh a year and save $24,000 annually. In addition, the Solders’ Home made significant progress towards meeting Executive Order 515 directives which, in 2009, established an environmental purchasing policy for Commonwealth departments and agencies. The Solders’ Home has converted all floor care, general, and restroom cleaners, and hand sanitizers to environmentally preferable alternatives. This has resulted in a safer and more comfortable environment for staff and residents alike.

In the municipal category, the city of Boston received an award for its innovative and nation-leading LED Streetlight program. The city of Boston has been designated a Green Community by the DOER and is committed to reducing community greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 and municipal emissions by 20 percent in 2014. The city of Boston has over 60,000 streetlights, with an average annual energy use of 65 million kWh at a cost of $7 million a year. To reduce these costs, Boston’s Public Works Department undertook an effort to test and install more efficient LED streetlights. LED lights have a longer lifetime and reduce energy consumption by up to 60 percent. Over 18,000 LED lights will be installed by the end of 2011, leading to annual savings of $1.8 million in utility costs and a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

“I’m very proud that the Commonwealth has chosen to recognize the City of Boston for its sustainability efforts,” said Mayor Thomas Menino. “Not only do our LED street lights help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve lighting in our streets, they also save the City money in tough economic times. These are the types of innovative, strategic changes that benefit the long term economic and environmental health of our city and make Massachusetts a leader in the green economy.”

The city of Lowell, the fourth largest city in the Commonwealth and another DOER-designated Green Community, received a municipal award for its work implementing a comprehensive $21 million performance contract and power purchase agreement. Lowell is creatively leveraging $1 million in utility rebates as well as $250,000 from a federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG), to partner with Ameresco, an energy services company, to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in 47 city-owned buildings –  nearly three million square feet of building space – including schools and city facilities. These projects include a 341 kW solar PV array, electricity conservation measures, mechanical improvements, and the weatherization of buildings. Savings generated by the project will pay for the $21 million project.

The town of Hudson, a community with a population of approximately 20,000, was presented an award for its commitment to both clean energy and sustainability. Hudson uses historic buildings for many of its municipal facilities. While these buildings are historically rich, they are often inefficient and difficult to heat and cool in the changing New England seasons. Hudson took these challenges head-on Hudson took these challenges head-on by completing several efficiency projects, including utilizing DOER Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to complete a window retrofit at the public library. Hudson replaced 117 deteriorated windows with high performance, energy efficient windows and 27 new solar shades that are projected to reduce fuel consumption and electricity usage by 40 percent and save the town over $7,000 a year all while maintaining the historical character of the building.

The town of Easton was designated a Green Community in the summer of 2011 and received a Leading By Example award for its dedication to achieving greater sustainability in government for over two decades. Easton has installed a 50 kW solar PV system, new energy efficient boilers at its Department of Public Works and a Fire Station, lighting system upgrades at two schools and several municipal buildings. In addition, since 2007, the town has been tracking energy usage at municipal buildings and schools to make informed energy decisions. Easton is a leader working with the community around recycling and hazardous waste issues and has made significant efforts to educate community members about sustainability issues.

For the first time, Leading By Example Awards were presented to two individuals. Melissa Lucas, a Leominster resident and the Sustainability and Energy Manager at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, received an individual award for her work that includes developing a “Growing Green’ website and newsletter that is widely read throughout the University of Massachusetts system, creating a mechanism for tracking projects and sharing best practices around sustainability efforts, and overseeing a host of efforts to make both existing and new buildings energy efficient and more sustainable.

Chris Mason, the city of Northampton’s Energy and Sustainability Officer and a Montague resident, received the other individual award for his work implementing a $6.5 million citywide performance contract with Con Edison, which will reduce energy use within municipal operations by 26 percent and reduce energy bills by $454,000 per year. In addition, Mason was recognized for coordinating Northampton’s adoption of the Stretch Energy Code and successful application to become a Green Community, and for his work implementing the far-reaching Sustainable Northampton Plan.

“These awards are important because they enable us to highlight best practices and showcase what municipalities and organizations are doing to green up the bottom line,” said Sen. Marc Pacheco, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “By implementing energy efficiency programs and pursuing clean and renewable energy we are simultaneously reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, creating jobs, and saving money in our budgets. I applaud these groups and individuals for taking a leadership role on this issue.”

“Massachusetts recently was named number one in the nation for energy efficiency programs.  The Patrick Administration has truly led the way for a number of innovative energy initiatives and the recipients of the LBE awards have taken the next step in bringing those initiatives to fruition and continuing a strong commitment to a greener tomorrow,” said Rep. Anne Gobi, Co-Chair of the Joint Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee.

For more information about the Leading by Example Program, click here (opens in new window).

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Ameresco: CarolAnn Hibbard, 508-661-2264,