Charleston Housing Saves $367,000 in First Year from Efficiency Contract with Citizens Conservation Services

LOWELL, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–September 14, 2000– Charleston Housing (CH) has installed almost $1.5 million in efficiency-related capital improvements–at no cost to the agency or to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. These improvements have yielded $367,000 in utility savings in the first year, providing the agency and its contractor, Citizens Conservation Services (CCS), with $197,000 after paying debt service costs for the measures.

The targeted improvements included upgrading space heating boilers and controls in one large property with a high efficiency system; installing high-efficiency furnaces in another; replacing lighting fixtures in corridors, apartments, and community buildings; and instituting a water conservation program that included water closet and faucet replacements. The project also involved diagnosing and repairing water leaks in the piping infrastructure.

Residents have been patient and cooperative participants in the program, allowing the series of construction companies to enter their households to install the necessary efficiency measures. The lighting and water conservation improvements, offering paybacks at most developments in less than four years, are helping to pay for the measures with longer paybacks, including the boiler and furnace replacements.

The efficiency project will save the CH, and ultimately taxpayers, more than $4.5 million in energy costs over the next ten years. The improvements reduced the utility costs of the CH by 35% from the previous year. Funding for the project, approved by the Office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) two years ago, is supplied via a tax-exempt municipal lease.

In today’s announcement of the project, Citizens President Stephen Morgan stated, “An innovative financing program championed by Executive Director Zelma Bogess has provided Charleston Housing with the resources to install capital improvements that has increased the comfort of residents, reduce operating costs, improve the environment, and enhance the value of their properties. The improvements made will reduce carbon emissions by more than 300 tons over the expected life of the equipment.” Morgan added.

Charleston is the first public housing agency in the state to undertake an energy performance contract. Citizens Conservation Services is the multifamily housing subsidiary of AMERESCO, a full service energy services company headquartered in Waltham, Mass. Citizens is a Massachusetts-based energy services company that develops and implements utility-saving projects in large residential properties. The company specializes in developing financing opportunities, installing efficiency measures, and guaranteeing that a predicted level of utility savings materializes.

AMERESCO was founded by George P. Sakellaris, a pioneer in the energy services business, and founder of one of the most successful companies in the industry.


Ameresco: CarolAnn Hibbard, 508-661-2264, [email protected]