For Immediate Release
February 08, 2011
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced that the City of Boston's Renew Boston initiative - an innovative energy efficiency partnership with NSTAR and National Grid - will provide grant funding for three community-based organizations to lead grassroots marketing and neighborhood outreach for Renew Boston. The funding increase will help improve community access to Renew Boston services and connect up to 3,000 Boston households with no-cost weatherization services.
"Renew Boston energy efficiency services have already had an impact as Bostonians see smaller utility bills and feel warmer in their homes this winter," said Mayor Menino. "By partnering with these trusted community-based organizations we will take this innovative program to the next level, breaking down some of the historic barriers to accessing energy efficiency, from landlord-tenant agreements to financing."
Approximately $150,000 in grant funds will be shared between the three community-based organizations: Nuestra Comunidad's Partnership for Greening Blue Hill Avenue, East Boston's Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH), and the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation. In working with these neighborhood organizations, the City can more easily reach residents and businesses that have not traditionally accessed weatherization programs, particularly moderate income Bostonians and those for whom English is a second language.
Beginning this winter, the three organizations will serve as satellite Renew Boston offices and will be provided funds to hire neighborhood network coordinators who will help connect Bostonians with Renew Boston's weatherization and job training services. Additionally, the neighborhood network coordinators will work alongside staff from the City's Office of Business Development to help implement Renew Boston's small business retrofit programs throughout City of Boston Main Streets districts.
"We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to host a Renew Boston neighborhood network site," says David Price, Executive Director for Nuestra Comunidad CDC, one of the members of the Partnership for Greening Blue Hill Avenue. "The goals and objectives that the Mayor has set for Renew Boston are very closely aligned with our own mission, vision and goals as a community-based organization."
The no-cost energy efficiency improvements for residents are provided by Mass Energy Consumers Alliance and Next Step Living, a Boston-based energy services company. And, small businesses that are eligible for the program are contacted directly by NSTAR Electric and RISE Engineering. The City expects Renew Boston to complete more than $11.9 million in energy efficiency improvements throughout the city, saving Boston residents over $3.4 million in annual energy costs, and also to create 58 local green jobs.
"This innovative partnership provides Bostonians with a unique level of access to incentive programs for energy efficiency," said Jim Hunt, the City's Chief of Environmental and Energy Services, "This is critically important in Boston where space heating represents the largest share of our energy bills, and older building stock accounts for nearly 70% of our greenhouse gas emissions citywide. Renew Boston will help meet Mayor Menino's aggressive climate change goals for Boston."
The Mayor has long recognized the need for the City of Boston to help Bostonians with their energy needs, including his Food and Fuel campaign and Boston Buying Power, the City's bulk power purchasing program for small businesses. Renew Boston, launched in 2010, is a service of the City of Boston in partnership with NSTAR and National Grid, and is the nation's first partnership between municipal government and investor-owned utilities for co-delivery of energy efficiency home improvements.
The Renew Boston program uses about $2.8 million of the $6.5 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's (ARRA) Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) to leverage rebates available under existing energy efficiency programs administered by NSTAR and National Grid for Boston residents and businesses.