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Worcester Mayor, City Manager Vow to Continue Battling Climate Change

Worcester, MA (June 2, 2017) - Mayor Joseph M. Petty and City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. on Friday reaffirmed the City's commitment to battle climate change locally, continue investing in green technology and maintain Worcester's place as a leader in clean energy.

In the wake of the announcement that the federal government would back out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Mayor Petty will join more than 80 mayors across the country in signing onto a U.S. Climate Mayors statement, pledging to "adopt, honor and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement. We will intensify efforts to meet each of our cities' current climate goals, push for new action to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target and work together to create a 21st century clean energy economy."

The full statement can be found here.

"As our federal government retreats from its responsibility as steward of our environment, it is vitally important for state and municipal governments to uphold our commitment to the future of our planet," said Mayor Petty. "If the president doesn't want to do it, we will."

"We're already making investments in green technology and initiatives that will pay off for both taxpayers and the environment," said City Manager Augustus. "The job of governing is often about balancing competing interests, but the beauty of these green energy initiatives is they help protect the environment, save money AND improve the City's performance for our residents."

A few of Worcester's recent green energy initiatives include:

  • Making critical investments in and improvements to the City's aging buildings, including upgrades to heating and cooling systems, insulation, air-sealing, lighting fixtures, water conservation equipment, installation of sophisticated energy management control systems and more.
  • New solar panels on roofs and parking lots at eight Worcester Public Schools, including Worcester Technical High School, Burncoat High School and Sullivan Middle School.
  • Replacing every single light bulb in the DCU Center with LEDs. That's a total of more than 3,500 new LED lights across the complex. That will result in a 42 percent reduction in facility kilowatt usage. Equal to annual CO2 emissions for nearly 200 homes; a carbon reduction equal to 12 hundred acres of US forests; and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions equal to 277 cars being driven for a year.
  • Replacing all of the City's 14,000 street lights with LEDs. This project will end up saving taxpayers close to $1 million every year, and cut our streetlight energy usage nearly in half, saving 3 million kilowatt hours every year.
  • Soon installing LED bulbs at all 97 municipally-owned buildings in the City, including every single Worcester Public School. This multi-year project will replace thousands and thousands of bulbs, saving millions and cutting our energy usage by more than 6 million kilowatt hours per year. It will also improve lighting in our classrooms, which studies show improves student performance.
  • This summer, Worcester will flip the switch on the largest municipal solar farm in New England, off Route 146 on the site of the former Greenwood Street landfill. Thousands of solar arrays -- equivalent to 19 football fields -- stretch out as far as the eye can see, capturing the sun's energy and turning it into savings for our residents. We've also installed solar panels on the roofs and parking structures at eight public schools, which, combined with the landfill solar panels, will generate projected savings of $1.7 million every year, more than paying for itself in energy savings.

Find more information about Worcester's green energy initiatives at www.WorcesterEnergy.org.

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