City Takes Next Step Towards Sustainability and Reducing its Carbon Footprint

Published Date: 
Fri, 10/02/2009

Conservation measures to reinvest millions back into the City’s infrastructure without raising taxes.

Downtown Portland, Maine BuildingsPortland, ME - Ameresco, an energy services company with offices in Portland, Maine, released the preliminary findings of a comprehensive energy audit of 55 city buildings and City owned street lights to the Portland City Council today. The City is reviewing a series of energy conservation projects designed to save money in energy and maintenance costs and take advantage of limited funding options available. The projects selected will be implemented under an energy savings performance contract where the energy savings pay for the much needed capital improvements.

A Performance Contract is an alternative way to fund major capital projects and still remain budget neutral. It generates savings in reduced utility costs by bundling together several energy conservation measures that help pay for each other despite the varying paybacks of the individual energy conservation measures. These savings are guaranteed by Ameresco and will fund the project through debt service, which means the energy services project will pay for itself through the savings it achieves. The performance contract with the City of Portland is the largest in scope and size to be undertaken within the State of Maine.

“In looking for alternate methods to fund energy efficiency projects without going to the taxpayers, the City found it could use a Performance Contract to generate savings that pay for significant and needed mechanical and building infrastructure improvements with no up-front costs and a minimum guaranteed outcome.” said City Manager Joseph Gray. “ Based on the preliminary findings of the audit, the City has more than 400 hundred energy conservation measures to consider implementing for their 55 buildings. Measures ranged from simple traditional conservation efforts such as energy efficient lighting, fuel switching and weatherization to more capital intensive improvements such as significant boiler, roof and HVAC improvements. Renewable measures, like solar thermal projects, are also suggested as an efficient energy alternative for several buildings.

Ameresco was supported in the audit process by MACTEC Engineering and Consulting, Inc, of Portland, who performed the mechanical and building envelope assessment. MACTEC, formerly known as the EC Jordan Company, has a 130 year history of providing engineering services in the City of Portland.
Ancillary cost savings the City will realize include equipment standardization and the reduction of maintenance costs.

“Through investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, the City of Portland will achieve long-term monetary savings, progress towards our carbon reduction goals, and create green jobs," said City Councilor Dave Marshall, Chair of the Energy and Environmental Sustainability Committee. "Once implemented, the City of Portland will reduce its Carbon Footprint by approximately 34% averting the release of 5,600 tons of CO2 emissions annually, the equivalent of taking more than 900 cars off the roads of Portland.".”

“Ameresco is pleased to partner with the City on a project that directly affects its citizens, our local employees and the globe.” said David Anderson, Executive Vice President. “We look forward to making this project a reality for the City.”

The City will review the recommendations made and decide what measures they want to include in the energy savings performance contract. Once the measures are selected the measures will be refined and a final audit will be issued to the City for consideration.

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About Ameresco
Ameresco, Inc., is the largest independent comprehensive energy solutions provider in North America. Headquartered in Framingham Massachusetts, Ameresco utilizes innovative strategies, systems, and technologies for renewable and sustainable energy generation and infrastructure renewal, thereby reducing operating expenses, increasing energy reliability and enhancing the environment.

About MACTEC
MACTEC Engineering and Consulting, Inc. (www.mactec.com), is a leading consulting, engineering and construction firm focused on five strategic business lines: Industrial/Commercial, Federal, Municipal, Energy, and Transportation. With annual revenues of more than $490 million, MACTEC’s 3,000-plus employees work from more than 80 offices nationwide. MACTEC consistently ranks in the top 10 percent of Engineering News-Record’s Top Firms in multiple categories.

Release Date: 10/2/2009