City of Providence Launches Voluntary Energy Savings Program that Challenges Large Buildings to Increase Energy Efficiency
April 30, 2018
PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today joined Director of Sustainability Leah Bamberger, Commissioner of the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources Carol Grant, Director of Buildings and Community Solutions for Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership Carolyn Sarno Goldthwaite and Director of Commercial Energy Efficiency for National Grid Michael McAteer to announce the creation of RePowerPVD, Providence’s voluntary energy savings program that challenges large buildings to help Providence meet its climate goals through energy efficiency by committing to a 20 percent-reduction in energy from a baseline taken in 2015 by the year 2025.
“Climate change is a real threat and cities like Providence must be proactive in combating its effects,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “RePowerPVD provides support to the buildings that are the largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions to the City and drives solutions for them to save energy, reduce costs and improve their marketability.”
In addition to the challenge to increase energy efficiency, RePowerPVD will feature a separate challenge called the “Race to Zero,” a competition to become the first zero energy building in the city. A zero-energy building generates more energy than it consumes. Buildings that are enrolled in either challenge will receive support and technical assistance from program partners to help them meet their goals.
“We often say energy efficiency is Rhode Island’s first fuel,” said Grant. “When property owners take steps to install LEDs, properly insulate their buildings, and replace aging appliances and HVAC equipment with more efficient models, they are reducing their energy use for decades. Therefore, energy efficiency truly is our state’s first fuel because it is the most important cost-savings investment we all can make before buying or generating new power. We commend Providence for bringing more public attention to the benefits of energy efficiency via the RePowerPVD program.”
RePowerPVD will support participating property owners by providing building energy benchmarks and free online reporting through the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®. Participants will receive support from the city in tracking changes in building energy use and measuring their progress towards achieving 20 percent savings goals. Mayor Elorza will recognize each building that meets its goals by awarding a plaque to be displayed in City Hall. Partners’ accomplishments will also be featured on the program’s website, RePowerPVD.com.
“Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is a crucial step in addressing climate change,” said Michael McAteer, National Grid’s Director of Strategic Business Policy and Evaluation. “We are proud to partner with the city of Providence on this important initiative, which will elevate energy efficiency practices that will provide savings for our customers, support economic development and greatly benefit the environment as we move towards a clean energy future.”
Property owners who have already committed to joining the challenge include IGT Global Solutions Corporation (10 Memorial Boulevard), Cornish Associates, Providence Marriott Downtown (1 Orms Street) and Providence Housing Authority (Kilmartin Plaza, 160 Benedict Street).
The City of Providence will also enroll ten of its properties in the challenge including:
- Mount Pleasant High School
- Leviton Complex
- George J. West Elementary School
- Nathan Bishop Middle School
- Branch Avenue Fire Station
- Martin Luther King Elementary School
- Mary E. Fogarty Elementary School
- Reservoir Avenue Elementary School
- Department of Communications
- Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Building
Six City properties have already achieved this goal, including:
- Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex
- Nathanael Greene Middle School
- Allan Shawn Feinstein Elementary School at Broad Street
- Jae Clanton Complex
- Veazie Street Elementary School
- Asa Messer Elementary School
The Office of Sustainability and program partners will hold an information session on Wednesday, May 9th at 12PM in room 305 of City Hall for those who are interested in participating. Lunch will be provided and registration is required. For more information and to register, please visit RePowerPVD.com.