Pilot Program Addressing Energy Efficiency, Load Response, and Renewable Energy Option

The town of Marshfield will soon become a 21st century model for energy technologies and policies as NSTAR rolls out a new pilot program in the South Shore community. Dubbed the "Marshfield Energy Challenge," the program takes a holistic approach to meeting growing energy demand by combining targeted energy efficiency efforts with small renewable generation and demand response systems. The $4 million initiative is co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and aims to achieve zero load growth in the town.

“We need dynamic and innovative solutions to help meet our customers’ growing energy needs in the cleanest, most efficient way possible,” said Thomas J. May, NSTAR Chairman, President and CEO. “Together with the MTC and our customers in Marshfield, we hope to pioneer a model that will both reduce energy usage and maximize the use of renewable technologies.”

“This is the first pilot program in the country that will address energy efficiency, load response, and renewable energy options simultaneously to reduce electricity costs,” said Francis Cummings, Policy Director of the MTC’s Renewable Energy Trust. “This is a win-win approach that will benefit everyone by making NSTAR’s electricity distribution system as efficient as possible.”

In order to reduce overall energy usage in Marshfield, NSTAR will provide energy efficiency services to 1,200 homes and 100 businesses. The project also calls for the installation of solar panels on 30 homes and businesses and the use of 500 direct-load-control thermostats to help manage peak load growth on hot summer days. Marshfield was chosen due to its location in the NSTAR system and because it’s a growing, vibrant community.

“This is a great opportunity for Marshfield residents and businesses to save energy, lower their bills and help the environment,” said Marshfield Selectman Michael Maresco. “We’re very excited about being part of NSTAR’s pilot program and are looking forward to an enthusiastic response.”

NSTAR will begin marketing the program in Marshfield later this month to let customers know what technologies and opportunities are available to help them save energy. Energy assessments in individual homes and businesses are slated to begin almost immediately, with installation of thermostats and other technologies following shortly thereafter.

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