$26M deal expected to cut costs; City manager says upgrades to 92 buildings will save energy, create jobs.


Byline: Nick Kotsopoulos

WORCESTER - A $26.6 million agreement between the city and Honeywell International Inc. will cut city energy costs by more than $1.4 million a year for the next 20 years.

The agreement with Honeywell calls for implementing a comprehensive energy conservation and building modernization program for 92 city-owned buildings.

The energy-efficiency upgrades and renewable energy technology that are part of the program are guaranteed to cut the city's annual utility-energy and operating costs by more than $1.4 million per year, according to City Manager Michael V. O'Brien.

They are also expected to reduce municipal carbon dioxide emissions by more than 6,000 tons annually, and to create hundreds of jobs, he said.

Mr. O'Brien said more than 60 percent of the improvements (about $16 million in value) will be made to Worcester public school buildings and facilities.

He said the improvements will include heating and cooling systems, insulation, air-sealing, water conservation, upgraded lighting fixtures and energy management control systems.

"This endeavor is a significant and positive step that achieves several goals, not the least of which are to modernize our public school facilities and to meet the ambitious goals set forth in our Climate Action Plan," Mr. O'Brien said. "These steps will improve energy efficiency and environmental standards, while generating significant energy and cost savings for the short- and long-term."

Highlights of the agreement include installing 256-kilowatt and 186-kilowatt solar photovoltaic systems at Worcester Technical High School and Sullivan Middle School, respectively.

Also, energy management system integration with real-time metering will be made available at 50 locations, including Worcester Public Library, Police Department headquarters, Worcester Senior Center, as well as Doherty, Burncoat and South High Community schools.

In addition, the boilers at Union Hill and Worcester Arts Magnet schools will be replaced.

"These are critical investments to aging buildings...

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