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FinCom Approves Esco Projects

The vote marks a turn-around since June.

For Town Meeting in June, the Finance Committee voted to reject a proposed $4.3 million in energy savings projects in various buildings around town, and voters followed their lead and rejected the ESCO -- energy savings company -- projects.

Maylor pledged to push forward with the proposed ESCO projects, hoping to sway the Finance Committee and eventually the voters.

Last week, the Finance Committee voted to approve the ESCO projects.

"I think what the Finance Committee communicated [at Town Meeting] was that this was a substantial project that had a lot of moving parts," Maylor said. With more than 80 projects in the ESCO proposal, Maylor said there wasn't enough time before Town Meeting to go over them in detail enough to make the Finance Committee comfortable with the large price tag. And at Town Meeting, the Finance Committee rejected it saying they needed more time.

Maylor said he met with the Finance Committee in the fall and answered their questions about the cost and savings of the proposal, pointing out that Reading and Lowell have done similar energy savings projects and have seen dramatic savings as a result.

The ESCO project would include energy management and energy savings initiatives, as well as infrastructure upgrades (including new lighting and new air units). The money spent on it was guaranteed to be paid over the next 15 years from projected energy savings.

Energy Performance Contracting is a type of project that provides a comprehensive set of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures and often offers a guarantee that the savings produced by a project will finance the full cost of it.

Massachusetts state law requires that an EPC project be delivered by a qualified Energy Service Company (ESCO). The company that was to deliver North Andover's ESCO project was Peregrine Energy Group, a company that serves as regional energy management for the 15 communities within the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission.

Cool Fusion January 22, 2013 at 01:36 PM
Why are the town officers slow-walking the ESCO information? Are we about to approve the taken out of service Boeing "Dreamliner" nightmare with it's cracked window ports, leaking fuel tanks, and underbay battery fires? Unlike FINCOM and the US Congress, We the people like to read the "Bills" BEFORE we vote on them.
Bill Callahan February 05, 2013 at 06:36 PM
Hi Mr. Coolfusion - The executive summary is online. http://www.townofnorthandover.com/Pages/index Have a terrific day, Your Cyberpal - Bill Callahan
Michael Quinlan February 05, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Executive Summary is worth reading. Gives a reasonable outline of the twenty one types of proposed projects. (I presume this will be given as a handout at the Town Meeting but is really to long to absorb as the meeting is starting.) Can we get a link to the proposed contract so we can evaluate the chance that this is a good deal?
Michael Quinlan February 06, 2013 at 02:37 AM
Bill, Ray Santilli, Assistant Town Manager, wrote me that no contract exists because no money has yet been allocated. Your statement above ('The way the contract is written...') implies that you have reviewed the contact as a member of the Finance Committee. Is this true? If so, who has the contract? Does the Finance Committee have a copy?
Bill Callahan February 06, 2013 at 10:36 AM
Mike - Ray is correct; we have not received the contract yet; but that is the mechanism described in the AMERESCO proposal. We've included money for testing and measurement each year in the cash flows so that we can verify the energy savings. And if the savings don't materialize, there is a claw back provision. They have paid under similar provisions to other towns and the existence of the claw back provision makes sure that their savings projections are conservative.

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