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State and Local Climate and Energy Program

Building a Municipal Energy Conservation Corps

Springfield, Massachusetts

Federal Funding: $491,067
Project Timeline: February 2010 – December 2012

Latest Update

The City of Springfield continues to conduct preventative maintenance (PM) work throughout the city’s schools, and is collecting data to track progress and build a strong PM program tailored to each school. The maintenance crews received training on expectations of the program and on site specific and general preventative maintenance procedures. The maintenance crews have completed the necessary PM work at several elementary schools including fixing broken exhaust fan motors, classroom unit ventilator motors, rooftop package units, condenser fans, and thermostats. The City purchased and installed new motors, thermostats, and sealant-cushions for the dampers. This crew also went back to several schools to be sure that the custodians at these sites were conducting their own PM on the HVAC equipment and maintaining a filter changing schedule. Additionally, the City is working to finalize data from Mass Energy Insight in Portfolio Manager. The City of Springfield will continue with PM activities, tracking the work with before and after photos, and entering ENERGY STAR ratings into Portfolio Manager.


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Maintenance Technician.

Maintenance Technician

A Member of Springfield's preventative maintenance team examines a dirty classroom unit ventilator.

Clean Classroom Ventilator Blower Fan.

Clean Blower Fan

After a thorough cleaning, the classroom ventilator will work more efficiently--saving money and improving indoor air quality.

Air Intake at Beal Elementary School in Springfield.

Air Intake at School

Air intakes can become dirty or clogged, requiring more energy to run and impacting indoor air quality.

Clean Air Intake.

Clean Air Intake

Regular maintenance can extend equipment life, reduce energy costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Project Summary

Improving Energy Performance in Municipal Operations and Removing Barriers to Greenhouse Gas Management

Under the direction and supervision of the Department of Parks, Buildings, and Recreation Management (DPBRM), the City of Springfield, Massachusetts, is responsible for maintenance and upgrades of 52 schools, 38 municipal buildings, and 15 parks buildings. Building on a comprehensive energy audit completed in 2007, the city is expanding and accelerating its energy conservation efforts for all city buildings. This project will create jobs while transforming public facilities into models of energy efficiency and conservation, significantly reducing Springfield's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Early on in the implementation of the audit recommendations, Springfield recognized the need for preventative maintenance (PM) and formed a four-person PM crew to tackle transformation of the City's facilities into models for energy efficiency and conservation. With the receipt of the Climate Showcase Communities funding, Springfield is addressing energy performance in municipal operations by expanding its four-person PM team to include four additional members. This team will be dedicated to performing PM and detailed energy audits for all City-owned buildings.

Through classroom education, on-site training, creation of new policies and protocols, and transfer of knowledge to all custodial staff, the City will also remove barriers to GHG management. The City's long-term plan is to create an Energy Conservation Corps, which will be dedicated to reducing its "carbon footprint."

The expansion of the PM team will leverage funding from the Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) to complete additional recommendations from the initial audit. The City will replace five standard boilers with high-efficiency boilers, install web-based energy management systems in three additional municipal buildings (increasing energy efficiency by 25 percent); and install solar thermal panels, which will be the first application of solar technology by the City. In addition to the new equipment, the expanded PM team will be maintaining and upgrading older, existing systems. The team is performing PM on all electrical, pneumatic, and mechanical systems in each building according to the PM program created by the project director. Through all of the planned activities, the City of Springfield will reduce its GHG emissions by 5 percent to 8 percent.

Community Characteristics

Population: 142,000
Area: 33 square miles
Government Type: City
Community Type: Urban
Median Household Income: $34,090

Program Results/Estimated Results

Expected GHG Emissions Reductions: 1,815 metric tons CO2e annually
Actual GHG Reductions: 370 metric tons CO2e annually
Expected # of City Buildings Addressed: 12
Number of Schools Addressed: 16
Jobs Created (as of June 2012): 4

Media Coverage

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