2 buildings in Orange targeted for energy efficiency upgrades

  • Town Hall in Orange, above, and Fisher Hill Elementary School, below, are slated for projects to improve their energy efficiency, using a state grant. Recorder Photo/David McLellan

For the Recorder
Published: 4/24/2018 1:53:41 PM

ORANGE — In January, the Town of Orange was notified it would receive a $159,830 grant through the Green Communities Designation Program. Now, town officials have decided to use the money to improve the energy efficiency of Town Hall and Fisher Hill School, for starters.

Pat Larson, a member of the Town’s Energy Committee, said that during the grant application process, Orange had to strategize an energy-efficiency plan, and had help from Franklin Regional Council of Governments to do so.

With the assistance of consultants Guardian Energy, the town started its energy reduction plan by completing an energy audit of five town buildings: the Town Hall, Fisher Hill School, Dexter Park School, the wastewater treatment plant and the Armory.

According to Larson, these are the five town buildings in Orange that use the most energy through the year.

After deliberation, the committee decided to focus on the Town Hall and Fisher Hill as the initial projects.

Hoping to make the buildings more energy-efficient, the projects proposed will focus on weatherization treatment of Town Hall, as well as updating HVAC systems in Fisher Hill. The town has yet to sign a contract with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources to start the two projects, said Larson. She hopes the contract will be signed in the near future.

With a school feasibility study underway for Dexter Park and upgrades outlined for the treatment plant, it was decided to not include the buildings in current projects.

Looking to the future, Larson said she hopes there will be more energy audits on other town buildings, such as the police station and Wheeler Memorial Library.

“This is really just the beginning of a five-year project to reduce energy use by 20 percent in town buildings,” she said.

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