Springfield and Western Massachusetts Electric Co. partner to improve energy efficiency

Recent partnerships between the public and private sectors have demonstrated effectiveness in improving energy consumption and conservation in the United States. One of the latest such developments is the partnering of the Springfield, Massachusetts, town government and Western Massachusetts Electric Co. (WMECo), who have announced a joint goal of reducing the city's electricity costs by 12 percent over the next three years in a bid for energy efficiency.

An agreement was signed on Wednesday, June 19, between Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and David McHale, executive vice president of WMECo's parent company Northeast Utilities. The Republican, a local news publication, reports that the two have outlined a strategy with goals for increasing energy efficiency in schools and municipal buildings – including libraries and fire stations – and reducing electrical consumption by 4 million killowatt-hours, equating to $625,000 in taxpayer savings over the year.

"This is a partnership. As you know, utility costs are budget busters," Mayor Sarno said at a City Hall press conference. "We have already done numerous projects. But the bottom line here is that not only is it good for the environment, energy efficiency, but it's also good for the bottom line of the city budget."

Thus far, seven schools, one firehouse and a library have all been targeted for energy upgrades, but 40 similar projects are expected to follow over the three-year period.

Maryland and Virginia residents are encouraged to contact their representatives about establishing similar energy-saving partnerships. In the meantime, homeowners interested in saving money on utility costs should contact a home inspection contractor. These qualified professionals can perform an energy audit of your property, which will analyze your house's power use and what you can do to reduce it – along with your energy bills.