Holyoke Community College and ADI Energy Celebrate Completion of Energy Conservation Project

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As talk about climate change heats up around the world, Holyoke Community College plans to celebrate a major reduction in its carbon footprint.

Earlier this year, HCC completed energy upgrades to its campus facilities that will significantly reduce its consumption of electricity and natural gas, resulting in a corresponding reduction in carbon emissions by 672 tons annually and an estimated savings in utility costs of nearly $200,000 a year.

“The energy upgrades are already paying off,” Bill Fogarty, vice president of Administration and Finance, told the HCC Board of Trustees last month.

The college celebrated the completion of its $5.2 million Energy Conservation Project today, in the HCC Courtyard with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and remarks by HCC President Christina Royal, Hope Davis, deputy commissioner of the state’s Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (otherwise known as DCAMM), and John Rizzo, the president of ADI Energy, the project’s energy contractor.

“We were excited to be selected to spearhead this much-needed, energy-saving investment for HCC,” said ADI president John Rizzo. “The project is a great example of innovation and teamwork that will have long-term benefits for the college, the economy, and the environment.”

Also at the event are staff and students from HCC’s Clean Energy and Sustainability Studies programs, who will be on hand to answer questions about their respective areas of study (and talk about current events, like the Paris Climate Agreement), demonstrate classroom equipment, and lead tours of HCC’s sustainability and permaculture gardens.

Work on the energy project began last spring, with the retrofitting of lighting fixtures and renovation of heating and air conditioning systems throughout campus, including the installation of new digital controls and motion-controlled light sensors in offices and common areas. The bulk of the visible work occurred during the summer of 2016, continued throughout the fall semester, and was completed on schedule for the beginning of the spring 2017 semester.

The project was done as part of the state’s selection of HCC as a “Toward Zero Net Energy” pilot site under the Accelerated Energy Program, which was designed to reduce energy consumption while creating clean energy jobs and reducing utility costs in public facilities.

“We are pleased to celebrate the completion of this project, which will improve energy efficiency and produce savings for Holyoke Community College,” said DCAMM Commissioner Carol Gladstone. “As outlined in our capital investment plan, we are investing in energy efficient upgrades at our state facilities through the Commonwealth’s Accelerated Energy Program to provide a more sustainable future for our capital assets.”

Holyoke Community College is the Commonwealth’s oldest community college, serving more than 11,500 students annually in credit and noncredit programs and courses. The college holds transfer agreements with more than 20 colleges and universities. Recognized for its Honors Program, distance learning curriculum, learning communities, and service to students, HCC also offers business development opportunities through the Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development. Please visit us on the web at www.hcc.edu

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