Reading Municipal Light Department receives $50K energy grant

GateHouse News Service
Feb 06, 2012
Reading — Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. this week $200,000 in grants for energy efficiency projects to municipal power companies serving four communities, including $50,000 earmarked for Reading.

“Massachusetts is No. 1 in the nation for energy efficiency because we continue to support energy saving programs that help businesses, residents, and municipalities save energy and manage their energy costs,” Sullivan said in a statement.

“These grants make it possible to expand the reach of energy efficiency in communities served by municipal-owned utilities,” he said. “There is no cheaper or cleaner fuel than fuel we don’t use, and I applaud these utilities for taking the initiative to expand that model.”

Through a competitive solicitation, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is awarding funds for the first time to the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC) and its project partners in Ipswich, Westfield and Chicopee to expand commercial and industrial (C&I) customer energy efficiency rebate programs.

Reading Municipal Plant will also use funds to offer a new energy saving water-heating program to its residential customers. MMWEC will use its grant for statewide energy efficiency outreach and marketing efforts.

“The RMLD is very excited to expand our technological services for our customers and are extremely grateful for the grant awarded to us by the DOER,” said Jared Carpenter, energy efficiency engineer at the RMLD in a statement.

“Governor Patrick's innovative leadership encourages us to create new solutions to help all customers,” Carpenter said. “We look forward to providing a unique energy innovation that can be expanded across the state.”                                                                               

Ipswich and Westfield will boost C&I energy savings by increasing the rebates and energy audits offered to their customers through existing C&I energy efficiency programs. Rebates would cover improvements including energy efficient heating and cooling, windows, boilers and furnaces, lighting fixtures, monitoring systems, and insulation. Chicopee will provide incentives for to local businesses for lighting improvements.

The grants are funded through proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) – a regional cap and trade program that has added $500 million in net economic impact in Massachusetts. These awards mark the first time the state has invested in energy efficiency programs at municipal light and power companies instead of investor owned utilities.

The grants

Chicopee Electric Light Department                           $32,479
Ipswich Municipal Light Department                          $17,410
Reading Municipal Light Department                         $50,000
Westfield Gas and Electric                                         $92,611
Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company  $7,500