MIT Taps Local Utility for 'Bold' Energy Efficiency Program

CAMBRIDGE, MA — With the help of its local utility, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will launch a three-year energy efficiency project that will trim electricity use 15 percent and save the university $50 million.

The project, "MIT Efficiency Forward," aims to save 34 million kilowatt-hours of electricity through new green construction, renovations, new technology testing, and incentive programs. MIT and utility Nstar will also partner for a series of retrofits targeting heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), electrical and lab systems, lighting fixtures and controls.

Nstar said it is the single most aggressive energy efficiency project in its history. The company is the product of a 1999 merger between BEC Energy and Commonwealth Energy System.

"What we are launching with MIT is a bold new plan for confronting climate change and a proposal to officially establish energy efficiency as the 'first fuel' in Massachusetts," Nstar Chairman, President and CEO Tom May said in a statement. "Aggressive goals require aggressive action, and MIT is demonstrating its leadership in campus sustainability once again. They are taking advantage of every energy-saving tool Nstar has available and I'm confident the results will be a model -- and an inspiration -- for all other customers to follow."

MIT Efficiency Forward will also have a student engagement component through the MIT Energy Initiative's (MITEI) Campus Energy Task Force. It will help develop coursework and teams to further the goals of the projects, including measuring, monitoring and verifying savings.

The school handed out $100,000 in cash and services in a recent competition to a startup company named C-Crete Technologies that developed an emissions-reducing, nanoengineered cement.

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