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Press Release: UMass Dartmouth Partners with NSTAR to Slash Campus Energy Use


UMass Dartmouth Partners with NSTAR to Slash Campus Energy Use

Multiple Projects Will Save Nearly $1 Million in Energy Costs Annually

Author:  John Hoey [Contact]
Date:  March 12, 2012
Department:   Public Affairs
(Boston and Dartmouth, Mass. -- March 12, 2012)  A partnership between UMass Dartmouth and NSTAR is significantly lowering the university's energy costs by nearly $1 million at its main campus and satellite locations.  Lighting and mechanical equipment upgrades at the 700-acre main campus in North Dartmouth, the College of Visual and Performing Arts in downtown New Bedford and the School of Marine Science and Technology on New Bedford Harbor have focused on reducing the university's electricity and natural gas use through improved energy efficiency.

"UMass Dartmouth is committed to reducing energy costs because we know it is both good business and the right thing to do,'' said Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack. "This allows us to redirect financial savings to core programs while also setting an example of sustainability for our students. We appreciate the efforts of NSTAR, the state Division of Capital Asset Management and our lead vendor, NORESCO, to make this project a great success."

NSTAR provided engineering expertise, project evaluation and substantial financial incentives to support the UMass Dartmouth project.  The company and the university worked together to ensure the project's success by analyzing equipment upgrade options, working with NSTAR-approved contractor NORESCO and completing a post-installation review of all new equipment. The Division of Capital Asset Management oversaw the project planning.

"When a customer the size of UMass Dartmouth makes a commitment to energy efficiency, the energy savings can be tremendous," said Penni Conner, NSTAR's Vice President of Customer Care.  "We're thrilled to have partnered with the university on this project and look forward to working with them on future energy-related endeavors."

Upgrades including new high-efficiency lighting and room occupancy sensors, together with the installation of digital controls and mechanical upgrades for the heating and ventilation systems, resulted in the potential for significant energy savings at each of the UMass campuses.  NSTAR anticipates total annual electricity savings resulting from this project to be over 4.6 million kilowatt-hours.

To promote the installation of high-efficiency equipment during upgrade projects such as this one, NSTAR offers financial incentives that significantly reduce the project's payback period.  For its electricity and natural gas upgrades, NSTAR recently delivered an incentive check to UMass Dartmouth totaling more than $1.5 million.

About UMass Dartmouth:  The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is ranked among the top regional public universities in the Northeast by U.S. News and World Report. UMass Dartmouth serves nearly 9,500 students enrolled in more than 49 undergraduate and 26 graduate programs at the main campus in North Dartmouth and sites in Fall River and New Bedford.

About NSTAR:  NSTAR is the largest Massachusetts-based, investor-owned electric and gas utility.  The company transmits and delivers electricity and natural gas to 1.4 million customers in Eastern and Central Massachusetts, including more than one million electric customers in 81 communities and 300,000 gas customers in 51 communities.  For more information, visit www.nstar.com.

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