UMass Clean Energy Extension (CEE) offers support to Massachusetts cities and towns seeking to understand their energy use and increase their energy efficiency and use of renewable energy. We work closely with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to support programs including the Green Communities Designation and Grant Program. See this page for examples of our work.
CEE offers energy audits or studies of specific building systems at no charge for a limited number of Massachusetts schools and other municipal facilities. These are conducted by Professor Ben Weil and his Clean Energy Corps class, a group of undergraduate and graduate students trained in building science and energy analysis.
Site visits are typically conducted between January February and March, and then our student teams give final presentations to the communities in April or May. CEE offers additional support as needed to see projects through to completion, including guidance in preparing scopes of work for design/engineering/build contracts, impartial review of bid proposals, and assistance connecting with Mass Save to pursue financial incentives toward implementation.
We provide actionable recommendations with information on energy and cost savings potential, as well as consideration of indoor air quality and occupant comfort. The recommendations often include a combination of short term actions to improve energy efficiency and longer term options to transition facilities toward electrification and/or renewable energy. Our reports have served as the basis for several successful Green Communities competitive grants and completed projects, while giving dozens of students valuable hands-on experience in auditing, analysis, and reporting.
In building audits, our team conducts an in-depth review of the building envelope and HVAC systems to identify opportunities to improve efficiency and transition toward renewable energy sources. In many cases, our recommendations can also improve building comfort, indoor environmental quality, and functionality.
Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants
- Large Facilities: Water and wastewater treatment plants with annual energy costs of $100,000-2,500,000 are eligible for free, in-depth assessments from the UMass Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy through US Department of Energy’s Industrial Assessment Center program.
- Small Facilities: CEE offers a limited number of audits for smaller municipal pumping stations and treatment plants.
To request an audit for any of your municipal facilities, contact CEE Municipal Services Program Director Lauren Mattison at email@example.com.
Green Communities Program Review
In partnership with DOER, CEE conducts a program review process for selected Green Communities that need assistance in reaching their energy reduction goals. This process includes:
- Interviews with community representatives about their energy management practices
- Detailed review of energy data in MassEnergyInsight (MEI), the free online tool that DOER provides for cities and towns to benchmark and track energy use, including the community's baseline year
- Assistance with correction of any errors or missing data found in MEI
- Analysis of energy use and energy conservation measures in targeted facilities
- Potential referral of specific facilities for more in-depth study through our auditing programs described above
- A report with recommendations to help the community improve energy management practices, prioritize efficiency efforts, and get on track toward their energy reduction goal
For more information, contact Lauren Mattison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Muncipal Energy Profiles
The Municipal Energy Profile is a two-page report that CEE is able to generate for any Massachusetts city or town that tracks its energy use in MassEnergyInsight. The profile provides an executive summary of municipal energy use (energy used by municipal-owned facilities and vehicles, not including businesses, residences or other private energy use in the city/town), along with actionable recommendations to improve efficiency. It is designed to help communities understand their energy use, identify priorities to work toward the Green Communities energy reduction goal, and connect with targeted resources for more information or assistance.
To request a profile for your city or town, contact Lauren Mattison at email@example.com.
We have developed these materials to educate communities on opportunities to upgrade their buildings with improved efficiency or cleaner heating and cooling equipment:
- Energy Efficiency Checklist for Municipal Buildings - Overview and checklist of measures to reduce energy use in schools and other municipal buildings.
- Selection of Clean Heating and Cooling Equipment - Overview and comparison of air-source heat pump, ground-source heat pump, solar thermal, and wood heating technologies.
See our Municipal Resources page for more information and other programs that offer assistance and/or financial incentives to support clean energy in Massachusetts cities and towns.
CEE is part of the team that supports users of MassEnergyInsight. For assistance, contact the support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-545-8525.
See our Greening Municipal Fleets page for information on improving efficiency of municipal vehicles.
In addition to the services described above, CEE provides other services and guidance to municipalities on a case-by-case basis. For more information, contact CEE Municipal Services Program Director Lauren Mattison at email@example.com (preferred) or 413-545-0651.