Energy cutback try begins
10% reduction by next year is goal
By Aaron Nicodemus TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
SUTTON— The town has launched an effort to cut 10 percent of its energy consumption in the next year as an “Energy Star” town.
Selectmen adopted the Energy Star Challenge at their meeting last night, and agreed to form an energy efficiency committee to study how the town might cut consumption and create renewable energy from the wind and sun. The committee would consist of nine to 11 members, with members being town employees and residents interested in finding ways to cut energy use.
Town Administrator James A. Smith told selectmen that the town spends $761,550 per year on electricity, heating oil and gasoline each year; the School Department spends about 65 percent of those funds. Cutting 10 percent of the town’s energy costs would save more than $76,000, he said.
The town has already adopted several energy-saving changes, replacing 60-watt bulbs in all exit signs in town and school buildings with 8-watt light emitting diode bulbs, and replacing 90-watt bulbs around the town gazebo with 16-watt bulbs.
The soda machine in Town Hall, consuming 3,500 kilowatt hours a year, might go next, he said. Replacing aging, inefficient boilers with energy efficient models might reduce the amount of heating oil used to heat town buildings, Mr. Smith said.
“I think we can be a leader in this,” said Michael Chizy, chairman of the Board of Selectmen.
Selectman John L. Hebert said that accepting the challenge “might open up the eyes of department heads about saving energy.”
The town opted not to apply for grants and loans through the state’s Green Communities Act, which calls for a 20 percent reduction in energy consumption over five years, buying more energy efficient vehicles when practical, and actively searching for renewable alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power.
Mr. Chizy made several references to the 262-foot high windmill recently built by the Holy Name Central Catholic Junior Senior High School, visible from Route 146 as motorists head north toward Worcester.
“We should be looking for opportunities like that,” he said.