Bill Would Improve Sustainability Practices in State Buildings, Reduce Energy Use

BOSTON—A bill filed by Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) that would require new construction or major renovation projects in state buildings to measure the energy implications of all resources used was reported out favorably by the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight.

“This legislation is the next step in making Massachusetts government truly sustainable by measuring all aspects of the construction or renovation of state buildings that impact energy use,” said Senator Eldridge. “Looking beyond the mere details of what kind of energy source powers a building, Senate bill 1479 will require an analysis of variables such as construction materials, architectural design and water use to help Massachusetts continue to meet the ambitious carbon emission reduction goals of the Global Warming Solutions Act.”

“With total life cycle energy analysis Massachusetts can calculate the lifetime energy savings of new energy efficient buildings and renovations,” said Ory Zik, Founder & CEO of Energy Points, a Boston-based company that provides source energy analysis. “Such analysis will help the state make smarter decisions about its energy sources. For example, the MBTA was able to save over $100,000 in the first year and the equivalent of nearly 30,000 gallons of gasoline every year after that by switching their Quincy garage’s direct heating source from fuel oil to natural gas. Decisions like that, multiplied over more locations and time, will have significant financial and energy returns for the state.”

S1479, An Act promoting the use of total energy impact analysis, would require that new construction or major renovation projects in state buildings measure the energy implications of all resources used. Resources such as electricity, water, transportation, materials, heating, and waste have financial and societal energy impacts. The bill would require a total life cycle energy analysis of such buildings, separate from the life cycle cost analysis. The purpose of the legislation is to encourage the state’s awareness of the total energy impact of such projects to help establish benchmarks to improve sustainability.
Currently in Massachusetts, the Division of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) is required to perform a Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA), to estimate the true cost of a building, or its components over its anticipated lifetime. DCAM must consider the life-cycle cost of implementing energy efficient and water conserving technologies, including the use of renewable fuels, in new construction or major renovation projects.

This bill would amend MGL Chapter 149, Section 44m and MGL Chapter 164, Section 331, so that in addition to a LCCA, the Division would be responsible for performing a total energy impact analysis for new construction or major renovation projects. S1479 is now with the Senate Clerk for further review.


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