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Renew Boston Trust

We are pursuing energy efficiency and resiliency in the City of Boston’s buildings.

The City is tapping into creative financing to make City buildings more energy efficient. This initiative uses money saved on our energy bills. We use that money to invest in making our buildings more comfortable while also reducing carbon pollution. We're committed to lead by example on energy efficiency as we continue to implement out Climate Action Plan.

About

Renew Boston Trust conducts energy audits and makes energy conservation recommendations. We ensure the installation of these energy efficiency upgrades in City-owned buildings.

Renew Boston Trust marks a historic turning point in municipal energy efficiency: from the era of incentives, to the age of true investments.

Mayor Walsh

The Trust will roll out in multiple phases. In the first phase, we will instal energy conservation measures at 14 municipal buildings and renewable generation at three sites.  Theses sites include community centers, libraries, parks, and police and fire stations across the City.

The initiative is overseen by departments in three of the City’s cabinets:

  1. the Environment Department
  2. the Public Facilities Department, which is responsible for major construction projects for the City, and
  3. the Budget Office, which is responsible for the City’s budget and spending.
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Project information

Projects

Energy Conservation Measures

Demand Control Ventilation:

Optimizing the amount of fresh air introduced into the ventilation system to ensure comfort while minimizing the energy used to condition it.

Lighting and Lighting Controls Upgrades (Interior and Exterior):

Installing highly efficient LED light bulbs and occupancy sensors to ensure that lights are only on when needed.

Building Envelope Improvements:

Sealing windows, doors and cracks in the building envelope to keep heat or air conditioning in the building.

Window Replacement:

Replacing some windows on the Third Floor of the Johnson building with high efficiency glass.

Cap Abandoned Exhaust Openings and Ventilation Shafts:

Sealing unused vents and openings to reduce loss of heat or air conditioning.

Install Pipe Insulation:

Installing insulation on pipes in the heating system to reduce heat loss, and improve efficiency.

Steam Trap Retrofits:

To repair or replace steam traps to improve the distribution of steam heat through the building and improve efficiency.

Install High Efficiency Motors and VFDs:

Replacing existing motors and installing variable frequency drives on the motors in the heating and cooling system. This will allow the motors to run only as hard as they need to to meet the needs, and reducing energy use.

Water Conservation Upgrades:

Installing low-flow toilets, reduced flush urinal valves, and low-flow faucets and showerheads to reduce the amount of water used.

Retro-Commissioning:

Reviewing the operations of the existing energy management system and repairing inoperable switches, motors, and other equipment. This will allow for better control of heating and cooling system operations improve overall building efficiency.

Install High Efficiency Transformers:

Replacing existing electrical transformers within the building with more efficient, and in some cases, smaller transformers. This will reduce energy loss incurred during the changes in voltage.

Computer Power Management:

Installing software to put computers into a deep sleep mode when they are not in use.

Plug Load Power Management:

Installing smart plugs to allow them to be turned off when the building is not occupied, eliminating parasitic load.

Anticipated Annual Energy Savings

  • Electric Savings (kilowatt hours): 1,007,275 (36%)
  • Steam (millions of pounds): 4,528 (11%)
  • Water Savings (gallons): 188,000 (1%)
  • Money Saved: $274,233.00 (9%)

Energy Conservation Measures

Lighting and Lighting Controls Upgrades (Interior & Exterior): 

Installing highly efficient LED light bulbs and occupancy sensors to ensure that lights are only on when needed.

Water Conservation Upgrades:

Installing low-flow toilets, reduced flush urinal valves, and low-flow faucets and showerheads to reduce the amount of water used.

Anticipated Annual Energy Savings:

  • Electric Savings (kilowatt hours): 31,458 (10%)
  • Water Savings (gallons): 24,000 (19%)
  • Money Saved: $9,337.00 (11%)

Energy Conservation Measures

Lighting and Lighting Controls Upgrades (Interior and Exterior):

Installing highly efficient LED light bulbs and occupancy sensors to ensure that lights are only on when needed.

Water Conservation Upgrades:

Installing low-flow toilets, reduced flush urinal valves, and low-flow faucets and showerheads to reduce the amount of water used.

Anticipated Annual Energy Savings

  • Electric Savings (kilowatt hours): 31,458 (10%)
  • Water Savings (gallons): 24,000 (19%)
  • Money Saved: $9,337.00 (11%)

Energy Conservation Measures

Lighting and Lighting Controls Upgrades (Interior and Exterior):

Installing highly efficient LED light bulbs and occupancy sensors to ensure that lights are only on when needed.

Water Conservation Upgrades:

Installing low-flow toilets, reduced flush urinal valves, and low-flow faucets and showerheads to reduce the amount of water used.

Anticipated Annual Energy Savings

  • Electric Savings (kilowatt hours): 62,644 (30%)
  • Water Savings (gallons): 42,000 (23%)
  • Money Saved: $15,149.00 (22%)

Energy Conservation Measures

Lighting and Lighting Controls Upgrades (Interior and Exterior):

Installing highly efficient LED light bulbs and occupancy sensors to ensure that lights are only on when needed.

Water Conservation Upgrades:

Installing low-flow toilets, reduced flush urinal valves, and low-flow faucets and showerheads to reduce the amount of water used.

Anticipated Annual Energy Savings

  • Electric Savings (kilowatt hours): 62,644 (30%)
  • Water Savings (gallons): 42,000 (23%)
  • Money Saved: $15,149.00 (22%)

Energy Conservation Measures

Lighting and Lighting Controls Upgrades (Interior and Exterior):

Installing highly efficient LED light bulbs and occupancy sensors to ensure that lights are only on when needed.

Building Envelope Improvements:

Sealing windows, doors, and cracks in the building envelope to keep heat or air conditioning in the building.

Water Conservation Upgrades:

Installing low-flow toilets, reduced flush urinal valves, and low-flow faucets and showerheads to reduce the amount of water used.

Anticipated Annual Energy Savings

  • Electric Savings (kilowatt hours): 73,214 (59%)
  • Natural Gas (therms): 647 (7%)
  • Water Savings (gallons): 78 (35%)
  • Money Saved: $17,456.00 (40%)

Energy Conservation Measures

Boiler Replacements:

Installing a highly efficient boiler to reduce the fuel needed to heat and cool the building.

Install Photovoltaic Systems:

Installing a parking lot canopy solar array to generate electricity and reduce use of electricity from the grid.

Building Management System Upgrades:

Upgrading the building management system to allow for more precise control of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to make the operation more efficient.

Lighting and Lighting Controls Upgrades (Interior and Exterior):

Installing highly efficient LED light bulbs and occupancy sensors to ensure that lights are only on when needed.

Building Envelope Improvements:

Sealing windows, doors and cracks in the building envelope to keep heat or air conditioning in the building.

Water Conservation Upgrades:

Installing low-flow toilets, reduced flush urinal valves, and low-flow faucets and showerheads to reduce the amount of water used.

Retro-Commissioning:

Reviewing the operations of the existing energy management system and repairing inoperable switches, motors, and other equipment. This will allow for better control of heating and cooling system operations improve overall building efficiency.

Install High Efficiency Transformers:

Replacing existing electrical transformers within the building with more efficient, and in some cases, smaller transformers. This will reduce energy loss incurred during the changes in voltage.

Computer Power Management:

Installing software to put computers into a deep sleep mode when they are not in use.

Anticipated Annual Energy Savings

  • Electric Savings (kilowatt hours): 767, 278 (13%)
  • Natural Gas (therms): 29,796 (19%)
  • Water Savings (gallons):1,539,000 (32%)
  • Annual Renewable Generation (kWh): 203,200
  • Money Saved: $170,194.00 (15%)

Energy Conservation Measures

Lighting and Lighting Controls Upgrades (Interior and Exterior):

Installing highly efficient LED light bulbs and occupancy sensors to ensure that lights are only on when needed.

Building Envelope Improvements:

Sealing windows, doors, and cracks in the building envelope to keep heat or air conditioning in the building.

Water Conservation Upgrades:

Installing low-flow toilets, reduced flush urinal valves, and low-flow faucets and showerheads to reduce the amount of water used.

Anticipated Annual Energy Savings

  • Electric Savings (kilowatt hours): 56,615 (17.70%)
  • Natural Gas (Therms): 758 (9%)
  • Water Savings (gallons): 94,000 (20.50%)
  • Money Saved: $15,794.00 (18%)

Energy Conservation Measures

Lighting and Lighting Controls Upgrades (Interior and Exterior): 

Installing highly efficient LED light bulbs and occupancy sensors to ensure that lights are only on when needed.

Water Conservation Upgrades:

Installing low-flow toilets, reduced flush urinal valves, and low-flow faucets and showerheads to reduce the amount of water used.

Anticipated Annual Energy Savings

  • Electric Savings (kilowatt hours): 60,590 (9%) 
  • Natural Gas (Therms): 7 (0%)
  • Water Savings (gallons): 137 (26%)
  • Money Saved: $15,445.00 (7%)

Energy Conservation Measures

Furnace Burner Controls:

Installing adjustable burners to ensure the furnace is operating a peak efficiency.

Installing adjustable burners to ensure the furnace is operating a peak efficiency:

Installing a roof-mounted solar array to generate electricity and reduce use of electricity from the grid.

Chiller Replacement:

Replacing the air conditioning chiller with a highly efficient chiller.

AHU/RTU/Unit Ventilator/Fans Replacement:

Replacing aging air handling units for building ventilation with more efficient equipment.

Building Management System Upgrades:

Upgrading the building management system to allow for more precise control of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to make the operation more efficient.

De-Stratification Fans:

To allow better mixing of heated air in the gymnasium and reduce the amount of heat needed.

Lighting and Lighting Controls Upgrades (Interior and Exterior):

Installing highly efficient LED light bulbs and occupancy sensors to ensure that lights are only on when needed.

Building Envelope Improvements:

Sealing windows, doors and cracks in the building envelope to keep heat or air conditioning in the building.

Install Pipe Insulation:

Installing insulation on pipes in the heating system to reduce heat loss, and improve efficiency.

Steam Trap Retrofits:

To repair or replace steam traps to improve the distribution of steam heat through the building and improve efficiency.

Water Conservation Upgrades:

Installing low-flow toilets, reduced flush urinal valves, and low-flow faucets to reduce the amount of water used.

Plug Load Power Management:

Installing smart plugs to allow them to be turned off when the building is not occupied, eliminating parasitic load.

Anticipated Annual Energy Savings

  • Electric Savings (kilowatt hours): 237,778 (56%)
  • Gas Savings (therms): 11,877 (38%)
  • Water Savings (gallons): 110,000 (29%)
  • Renewable Electricity Production (kilowatt hours/AC): 75,040 
  • Money Saved: 72,209 (50%)

Energy Conservation Measures

Lighting and Lighting Controls Upgrades (Interior and Exterior):

Installing highly efficient LED light bulbs and occupancy sensors to ensure that lights are only on when needed.

Water Conservation Upgrades:

Installing low-flow toilets, reduced flush urinal valves, and low-flow faucets and showerheads to reduce the amount of water used.

Anticipated Annual Energy Savings

  • Electric Savings (kilowatt hours): 83,486 (18%)
  • Water Savings (gallons): 115,000 (18%)
  • Money Saved: $22,368.00 (14%)

Energy Conservation Measures

De-Stratification Fans:

To allow better mixing of heated air in the gymnasium and reduce the amount of heat needed.

Lighting and Lighting Controls Upgrades (Interior and Exterior): 

Installing highly efficient LED light bulbs and occupancy sensors to ensure that lights are only on when needed.

Building Envelope Improvements:

Sealing windows, doors, and cracks in the building envelope to keep heat or air conditioning in the building.

Water Conservation Upgrades:

Installing low-flow toilets, reduced flush urinal valves, and low-flow faucets and showerheads to reduce the amount of water used.

Anticipated Annual Energy Savings

  • Electric Savings (kilowatt hours): 74,914 (22%)
  • Natural Gas (therms): 2,623 (10%)
  • Water Savings (gallons): 69,000 (41%)
  • Money Saved: $24,815.00 (21%)

Energy Conservation Measures

Install Photovoltaic Systems - PPA:

Installing a roof-mounted solar array to generate electricity and reduce use of electricity from the grid.

De-Stratification Fans:

To allow better mixing of heated air in the gymnasium and reduce the amount of heat needed.

Lighting and Lighting Controls Upgrades (Interior and Exterior):

Installing highly efficient LED light bulbs and occupancy sensors to ensure that lights are only on when needed.

Building Envelope Improvements:

Sealing windows, doors, and cracks in the building envelope to keep heat or air conditioning in the building.

Water Conservation Upgrades:

Installing low-flow toilets, reduced flush urinal valves, and low-flow faucets and showerheads to reduce the amount of water used.

Anticipated Annual Energy Savings

  • Electric Savings (kilowatt hours): 58,202 (19%)
  • Natural Gas (therms): 870 (5%)
  • Water Savings (gallons): 74,000 (42%)
  • Annual Renewable Generation (kWh): 58, 400 
  • Money Saved: $25, 206.00 (25%)

Energy Conservation Measures

Boiler Replacements:

Replacement of aging boiler with new, highly efficient boiler.

Chiller Replacement:

Replacement of aging chiller with new, highly efficient chiller.

Cooling Tower Replacement:

Removing existing water cooling tower, reducing water use.

Building Management System Upgrades:

Upgrading the building management system to allow for more precise control of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to make the operation more efficient.

Lighting and Lighting Controls Upgrades (Interior and Exterior): 

Installing highly efficient LED light bulbs and occupancy sensors to ensure that lights are only on when needed.

Building Envelope Improvements:

Sealing windows, doors, and cracks in the building envelope to keep heat or air conditioning in the building.

Install High Efficiency Motors and VFDs: 

Replacing existing motors and installing variable frequency drives on the motors in the heating and cooling system. This will allow the motors to run only as hard as they need to to meet the needs, and reducing energy use.

Water Conservation Upgrades:

Installing low-flow toilets, reduced flush urinal valves, and low-flow faucets and showerheads to reduce the amount of water used.

Anticipated Annual Energy Savings

  • Electric Savings (kilowatt hours): 115,293 (51%)
  • Natural Gas (therms): 3,594 (30%)
  • Water Savings (gallons): 42,000 (10%)
  • Money Saved: $36,571.00 (45%)

How we're saving

Economic

The program is self-funded because the savings from energy efficiency and renewable energy measures pay for themselves and more. We are using a proven self-funded financing model and those savings are guaranteed by our contractor. The savings within the City’s operating budget from more energy efficient buildings pays for the financing of the work. With additional savings, we plan to re-invest in resiliency measures. Our goal is to continue to build a strong, thriving, and sustainable city.

Environmental

We will make our buildings more comfortable for City employees and the visitors. Once completed, the first phase of the program will reduce the municipal greenhouse gas emissions by 1 percent, and grow in impact over time.

Phase Two

We are beginning the planning for the next phase of this program, which will put in place more that $40 million of energy conservation measures.  We have already received budget authorization. We are now evaluating which buildings will be included for a full assessment and audit. Based upon that report, potential energy conservation measures will be identified for each building.  Then, consistent with the available budget, the City will select the next portfolio of measures to implement.

Collaborators

This initiative would not have been possible without the support of funders and thought partners. These partners have experience launching similar programs in other cities. 

  • City Energy Project
  • Natural Resource Defense Council
  • Institute for Market Transformation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
  • The Kresge Foundation