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Athol, Orange housing authorities save energy costs through National Grid program

The Athol Housing Authority and Orange Housing Authority are participating in an energy-efficiency program that will result in substantial savings in energy costs at their properties. These projects will be saving the taxpayers thousands of dollars.

The work is being done at no cost to the housing authorities through the EnergyWise Program sponsored and funded by National Grid. The EnergyWise Program provides an on-site energy audit of all electric use followed by comprehensive energy efficiency measures throughout the authorities’ facilities.

According to Christi Martin, Executive Director of the Athol and Orange Housing Authorities, the work being done to units with electric heat include these:

∎  Improvements in ventilation in the buildings.

∎  Installation of air sealing and insulation in the buildings.

∎  Replacement of lights with energy-efficient bulbs.

∎  Replacement of flood lights with energy-efficient ones.

∎  Programmable thermostats.

∎  Low-flow aerators in kitchens and bathrooms.

∎  Installation of low-flow shower heads.

∎  Replacement of common area street lights.

Diane Nassif, an Orange Housing Authority Board member, did the initial research on energy programs and performed all of the legwork leading up to the energy audit.

The cost of the work at the Orange Housing Authority is $87,440 for Colonial Acres and $15,240 for MacIntosh Court. Colonial Acres is an elderly/disabled development with 56 units, while MacIntosh Court is a family site with eight units. The tenants there must pay for their own electricity, so this work will mean a great savings to them.

At the Athol Housing Authority, approximately $78,500 worth of work is being done at the Lakeside Apartments, an elderly/disabled site with 50 units.

All of the insulation and sealing has been completed, and the thermostats and lighting will be done shortly.

“Energy is one of our biggest costs,” said Martin. “This National Grid program will help reduce our monthly operating costs and enhance the comfort of our residents while at the same time providing greater environmental benefits. I commend National Grid for making this program available to us, and I would especially like to thank Diane Nassif for her help in getting this effort off the ground.”

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