Energy Management Initiatives

In 2007, then-mayor Thomas M. Menino issued an executive order "relative to climate action in Boston," which established the goal of reducing municipal greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 and set broad guidelines for reaching that goal, including higher efficiency standards for municipal buildings, the purchase of more renewable energy, and a requirement for more efficient vehicles.  We continue to make significant strides in fulfilling the order:

Renew Boston

Renew Boston is an innovative network of energy efficiency and alternative energy service provision, catalyzed by City government working with local utilities. RB coordinates job training & works with for-profit and non-profit partners who help residents, businesses, and institutions save energy & money. By 2020, we anticipate RB will assist 150,000 households and 30,000 businesses (65-70% of Boston's total) with improvements. Renew Boston uses technology to correlate and review data from partner organizations on a regular basis, and provides information about properties and projects in Boston that will improve the effectiveness of partner organization service delivery.  As network coordinator, we facilitate data sharing and support the efforts of multiple stakeholders, utilizing ‘Landmark’ (property) data, energy use data, activities data, and analysis/reporting tools. Renew Boston 3.0 continues the City’s coordination of the utility-administered, vendor-provided Mass Save weatherization program work in Boston established with the 2.0’s administration of $2.1 million of the City’s $6.5 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant.  Renew Boston 3.0 has set a goal for 2013 of 100 whole-building 2-4 family weatherization jobs within its overall goal of 1,200 weatherization jobs. 

Renew Boston Solar Map

Solar MapThrough the Renew Boston Solar initiative, we are encouraging the installation of solar technology throughout Boston, including easing permitting requirements, mapping feasible locations, and planning the city-wide bulk purchase, financing, and installation of solar technology; Working with local organizations to maximize Boston 's participation in state incentive programs and innovative financing initiatives; and tracking and mapping solar and other renewable energy systems in Boston.

Using ESRI ArcGIS technology, we built a searchable, multi-layer map interface that allows residents to view renewable energy installations across the city and calculate the solar potential of their own rooftops.  As of 2012, Boston has 7.8 mW installed citywide, 1/3 of City’s goal of 25mW by 2015.

LED Streetlights

LED 75x75Using US Dept. of Energy funding, Boston has been piloting LED streetlight technology.  LED lightbulbs use a fraction of the energy consumed by conventional bulbs and have the potential to generate significant savings through increased energy efficiency (90% better than our current bulb technology) and reduced maintenance costs. Boston expects payback from LED investment within 3-7 years.

The City of Boston has 64,000 electric street lights which use 65,000,000 kWh and cost $8 million annually.  in December 2010, the Street Lighting Division began converting mercury vapor and sodium lamps to LED and by the end of 2012 will have installed 23,000 LEDs. This will save the City of Boston $2.8 Million annually, with plans to continue with more conversions in 2013.   The City plans to replace all streetlights with LED technology by end of 2013.

Enterprise Energy Management System & Cost-Savings

In an on-going effort to reduce energy consumption and control energy cost the City completed a strategic assessment for the procurement of an Enterprise Energy Management System (EEMS). The strategic assessment resulted in the following deliverables positioning the City to make a decision on procurement of a new system.

 Based on the results of the Enterprise Energy Management System Strategic Assessment the City has decided to move forward with the procurement of an EEMS. An EEMS will be used by the City as the primary system of record to identify energy efficiency improvement projects, to set and measure Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), to reconcile utility billing accounts, to track greenhouse gas emissions, to minimize the City’s energy expenditures through the use of transparent energy consumption data and accurate reports of enterprise-wide energy consumption and expenditures.

City's Energy Budget Increases & Savings

The City’s energy budget has increased each year from FY2011 to FY2013. However, between 2006 and 2011 the City saved 39,440,643 kWh of electricity which resulted in an estimated annual operating budget savings of $4.9 million.

CommodityFiscal 2011Fiscal 2012Fiscal 2013
Electricity$28.4 million$30.6 million$27.2 million
Natural Gas$12.9 million$15.0 million$16.1 million
Gasoline/Diesel$5.2 million$6.3 million$6.7 million
Water/Sewer, Steam, Heating Oil$5.2 million$5.8 million$5.5 million
Total$51.7 million$57.7 million$55.5 million

City Energy Efficiency Projects

In 2011, the City undertook a series of efficiency projects that resulted in a net $624,568 City capital expenditure, yielded $3.3 million in capital improvements, and $1.4 million in estimated annual operating budget savings.

Efficiency ProjectProject CostNstar IncentiveAnnual SavingskWh Saved
LED Streetlights$3,039,270$2,500,000$1,245,494*$9,730,420
BPL Main Branch EMS$91,080$63,756$42,866**$329,742
City Hall Phase II$193,240$135,268$119,241**$917,242

*Based on average unmetered electricity tariff rate Jan. - Oct. 2011 ($0.128/kWh)
**Based on estimated metered day-ahead rate ($0.13/kWh)

Proposed City Energy Efficiency Projects


Efficiency ProjectProject CostAnnual kWhValue of kWh CreditsRenewable Energy Credits (RECs)
Archival Center PV$600,000104,414$13,574*$55,120**
400 Frontage Road PV$1,538,228148,421$19,295*$78,440**
Proposed Deer Island 600 kW Wind Turbine$2,500,0001,191,000$154,830*$47,640***

*Based on current estimated metered day-ahead rate ($0.13/kWh)
**Based on December 2011 SREC price ($530/MW)
***Based on 1/4/12 Chicago Climate Futures Exchange MA Futures End of Day Summer ($40/MW for Jan 2012 contracts)

City Energy Efficiency Project Revenue


YearUtility IncentivesRECsDemand Response Payments