An upcoming Town Hall weatherization project and new LED lighting at Adams Middle School, the Whipple Senior Center and two high school classroom sections are expected to save $37,000 annually in municipal energy expenses.
The upgrades will be completed under a $225,373 Green Communities grant awarded to Weymouth by the state Department of Energy Resources to reduce energy costs and consumption.
"We have seen the benefits not only in energy reduction but also long-term savings for the town,” said Mayor Robert Hedlund in a written statement. “We are proud to be awarded this funding once again, and we thank the Baker-Polito administration for their commitment to the program, and look forward to implementing the cost-saving measures in our town facilities and schools."
Hedlund said his administration has aggressively sought grants to reduce energy costs in the town since Weymouth adopted the terms of the Green Communities program in 2015.
Weymouth became a Green Community when it agreed to reduce its municipal energy consumption by 20 percent over five years under DOER requirements.
The town has received more than $1 million in grants through the program since 2015, according to Hedlund.
Previous projects funded by Green Communities grants during the past four years include the installation of LED lighting at Town Hall, Pratt Library, North Branch Library, the Department of Public Works, the high school, Murphy Primary School, Seach Primary School, Nash Primary School, Hamilton Primary School, Wessagusset Primary School, Talbot Primary School, the police station, a firehouse, the Great Pond Water Treatment Plant, and the school department headquarters.
Weymouth also received a $250,000 Green Communities Competitive grant in August 2018. The funding financed the installation of LED lighting at eight primary schools and to weatherize the main fire department headquarters.
Town officials expect to save $182,312 in municipal energy costs annually through all of these upgrades, according to Ted Langill, chief of staff for Hedlund.
“The projects have ranged from high-efficiency lighting upgrades to the installation of an energy management system and building insulation,” he said.
The town also expects to save $250,000 in energy costs annually within three years through the recent installation of 4,000 LED streetlights that were installed throughout Weymouth under a $303,000 reimbursable grant from the state.
A town summary states the LED lights will reduce light pollution and provide better lighting than traditional high-pressure sodium lights due to the difference in the color of the brightness.
Weymouth’s adoption of the Green Communities obligations includes providing sites for renewable alternative energy sources.
Town council gave the development of solar energy in Weymouth a boost in October 2014 when it approved an amendment to the zoning ordinances.
The amendment allows large scale roof-mounted solar devices on the rooftops of buildings in industrial zones and small ground-mounted solar devices elsewhere in town.
Businesses located outside the industrial zone are eligible to have rooftop solar devices if they receive a special permit from the board of zoning appeals under the amendment.
Green Communities requirements also include having a smoother permitting process to accommodate energy produced by solar or wind turbines.
The town also agreed to purchase municipal vehicles that are energy efficient under the Green Communities requirements.
The state Department of Energy Resources started the Green Energy Communities program in 2010. Grants are funded by carbon allowance auction proceeds from the multi-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
The grants are also financed with payments by retail electric suppliers that fail to meet their renewable energy portfolio requirements.
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