Renew Boston Trust
"We have a unique opportunity to update our municipal buildings and exterior lighting in a way that preserves Boston’s character and aligns with our broader environmental goals. I am excited to work on ensuring our city is saving energy and the associated costs while bringing us closer to our net zero goals." — Mayor Michelle Wu
Renew Boston Trust (RBT) began in 2017. It is a City program that conducts energy audits and invests conservation upgrades for municipal buildings. In 2022, Renew Boston Trust extended its scope to include an energy audit of all exterior City-owned lighting. This program is an important tool for the City as it leads by example in reaching carbon neutrality and becoming a Green New Deal city.
Renew Boston Trust was developed in phases. Each phase includes a unique set of municipal buildings. At the end of RBT's Phase 3 and the exterior lighting scope, all City departments that own and operate buildings will have received energy efficiency upgrades.
The initiative is overseen by departments in three of the City’s cabinets:
Phases of Renew Boston Trust
In Phase 1, energy conservation measures were installed at 14 municipal buildings and renewable generation at three sites.
In Phase 2, 24 new facilities and seven facilities included in Phase 1 were upgraded with additional energy conservation measures. These included chillers and heat pumps.
Phase 3 will include deep energy efficiency and carbon reduction upgrades in Boston Public Schools for the first time in Renew Boston Trust. The City will also expand its fleet of solar panel arrays on municipal properties.
Each year the City spends about $5 million for energy for exterior lighting.
Renew Boston Trust benefitsBenefits
The City has improved and expanded its contracting with Women and Minority Business Enterprises (WMBE) in Boston.
In 20 years, energy conservation measures in the project will help the City save money for other future investments.
The City reduces its use of fossil fuels and its greenhouse gas emissions and shifts to cleaner energy.
The City will know the energy savings from Phase 1 projects (from July 2022 - June 2023) by October of 2023. In Phase 2, the Renew Boston Trust team is installing equipment at two community centers and a police station. All construction in Phase 2 should be complete by November 2023.
Phase 3 includes several parts. The first part is 70% complete. Renew Boston Trust is replacing over 14,000 lights in City Hall. This project is over 60% complete and ahead of schedule. The second part of Phase 3 started earlier this year. Heating and cooling equipment installations have begun at the Tynan and Murphy schools. Other projects at the Tynan, Murphy, Condon, and Ohrenberger schools will begin later this year.
The exterior lighting audit is complete. The City and the project team are reviewing the results and identifying projects to reduce energy use and emissions.