EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

January 30, 2014

College knocks $400K off energy bill

NECC's annual savings enough to power 449 homes

HAVERHILL — Homeowners everywhere are looking for ways to save money in the face of rising energy costs.

Northern Essex Community College has joined the crowd — and found a way to save $400,000 a year, college leaders said.

It took a $6.2 million investment, funded by a state bond that Northern Essex will pay back. The project received additional support from Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, the college and National Grid.

That money paid for improvements to energy systems at the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses which will pay for themselves in a few years, officials said.

Yesterday, state officials joined NECC President Lane Glenn and college students in celebrating the completion of the first large project certified under the state’s Accelerated Energy Program.

Officials said the program helps make state buildings more energy efficient, create jobs, and allow these energy saving projects to pay for themselves. Low-cost bonds are financing the projects, and the debt will be paid through the energy savings generated by the projects, officials said.

Glenn said the college expects to save about $400,000 each year through the upgrades. That is the equivalent of the electricity used by 449 homes, officials said.

“In addition, we’ll have significant reductions in greenhouse emissions and a more sustainable college which is very important to us,” Glenn said.

State officials said the reduction in greenhouse gases is equivalent to the emissions from 231 cars.

Glenn highlighted the changes that have taken place over the last two years during yesterday’s presentation in the Hartleb Technology Center on the Haverhill campus.

Marcy Yeager, professor of natural science at NECC, brought several honors students to yesterday’s presentation.

“We’re looking at ways of creating positive solutions for the world, so I wanted my students to learn about what the college is doing,” Yeager said.

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