28 February 2012
. Written by: BusinessWest
MMWEC, Utilities Receive Energy-efficiency Grant
LUDLOW — A first-time grant of $200,000 from the state Department of Energy Resources (DOER) will enable three municipal utilities and the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co. (MMWEC) to expand energy-efficiency programs for their commercial and industrial customers. Using the MMWEC energy-efficiency program model, the MMWEC member utilities in Westfield, Chicopee, and Ipswich received grants totaling $142,500, primarily to bolster customer-rebate programs that offset the cost of making energy-efficient improvements. MMWEC received a grant of $7,500 to promote its energy-efficiency program and assist municipal utilities with delivery of related customer services. “This grant is certainly a welcomed contribution to expanding the energy-efficiency services provided by these municipal utilities,” said MMWEC CEO Ronald C. DeCurzio. “We are hoping the allocation of these funds can be expanded in the future to benefit additional municipal utilities and their customers.” MMWEC coordinated the competitive grant-application process for its member utilities in Westfield, Chicopee, and Ipswich, while the Reading municipal utility also received funding for an energy-saving water-heating program. The MMWEC members will use the grants to increase rebates and energy-audit funding for commercial and industrial customers. Generally, the efficiency measures covered include improvements in heating and cooling, windows, boilers and furnaces, lighting, energy-monitoring systems, and insulation. The grants are funded through proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a regional cap-and-trade, emissions-reduction program that has generated more than $150 million for Massachusetts through the sale of emission allowances. “Westfield is delighted to be among the first municipal utilities in Massachusetts to receive a grant from the DOER,” said Westfield Gas & Electric General Manager Daniel J. Howard. “We have worked hard at initiating a program for our commercial and industrial customers that promotes conservation and energy efficiency while expanding existing programs to our residential customers.” Chicopee Electric Light Manager Jeffrey R. Cady echoed those sentiments. “The DOER grant will enable Chicopee to move forward with expanding programs to better serve our customers and help meet our system needs with energy efficiency and conservation initiatives,” said Cady. “Using energy efficiently is essential in delivering a reliable and economic supply of electricity to Chicopee consumers. This grant will keep us moving in that direction.” MMWEC is a nonprofit, public corporation and political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that provides a variety of power-supply, financial, risk-management, and other services to the state’s consumer-owned municipal utilities.