State and local officials and energy professionals recently gathered to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). With the goal of “Putting America to Work,” the more than 300 Massachusetts energy efficiency and renewable energy ARRA projects have supported over 1,000 local jobs in the clean energy sector through the assistance of ARRA funding. And, the equipment installed on these projects meets the “Buy American” provisions of ARRA. Some of these materials are even supporting manufacturing jobs right here in Massachusetts.
In addition to fueling jobs, energy efficiency investments grow over time for municipalities and businesses, as energy costs increase. Projected savings gained from these federally-funded upgrades, such as adding insulation, air-sealing, heating system upgrades and real-time energy use tracking at state facilities, translate into the amount of energy needed to heat and power approximately 4,000 New England homes annually.
One photo is of the Bridgewater Correctional Complex where an installation of an energy management system includes real-time building-level metering of electricity and gas at 37 buildings totaling 213,416 square feet.
With a goal of decreasing energy consumption by 50 percent or more, other ARRA-backed projects will promote “zero net energy” living spaces by funding super energy efficient upgrades of local community-focused businesses, such as a local chamber of commerce.
Are you curious about projects in your community? Here is information by region:
At an event in Northampton earlier this year, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. and Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia recognized several communities for their work to provide a more sustainable energy future for the Commonwealth.
Also, here are some photos of the event at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Northampton, which gathered representatives of 97 communities working on renewable and clean energy projects.