WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Town Manager Jeff Hull has made reducing the energy consumption of town departments one of his top budgeting initiatives since taking over the reigns in 2012.
“The town has made significant strides in addressing operating costs of our building,” said Hull in his recent budget presentation to the Board of Selectmen. “Since FY2013, the town has funded heating system replacements and conversions of heating systems to natural gas. Roof replacements at the Shawsheen and Woburn Street Schools this past year has brought the total investment in roofs to over $950,000 since FY2010. In FY2015, funding of $480,000 was approved to replace the oil fired heating system with a natural gas system at the Shawsheen School.”
Hull points to these projects as the reason why the town’s heating costs for FY17 (July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017) is projected to drop by more than $500,000, a dramatic 39% reduction from FY16 numbers. As a result, the overall Public Buildings budget will see a 6.5% decrease.
Hull also noted that while energy rates continue to rise, the Town has been able to hold the town’s annual electricity budget steady through a number of conservation efforts. The FY16 appropriation of $220,000 for town buildings remains level-funded in FY2017.
The numbers caught the attention of Board of Selectman Chair Mike Champoux, who praised the Manager and Town Department heads for their successful energy enhancements and their desire to explore and implement cost-saving opportunities.
Hull highlighted FIVE projects and initiatives he had budgeted for FY17 that will further decrease energy consumption, resulting in long-term savings to the town:
- Replacement of the roof at the Boutwell School
- Replacement of a portion of a roof at the North Intermediate School
- Lighting conversions in various town and school buildings, including occupancy senor systems and LED lighting
- Complete the transition of the Police Department from Crown Victorias to newer, more fuel-efficient SUVs. (18 Crown Victorias have already been retired over the past 36 months.)
- Finalize a new town vehicle policy which will include a five-year plan for “replacement of older, inefficient vehicles to new vehicles appropriately sized for the intended use.”
Are you pleased with these energy saving efforts? What more should the town be doing? Let Wilmington Apple now in the comments below, by commenting on its Facebook page, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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