By Kim Siebert MacPhail
Because the Green Communities program has increased his department’s workload by about eight hours a week, Facilities Director Richard Jones received approval from the Selectmen Monday night to enter into an agreement with the Town of Arlington for a shared, part-time Energy Manager.
Bedford became a Green Community in the spring of 2010 when the town adopted five energy-saving criteria, including the building Stretch Code, an energy-efficiency program that targets commercial and residential design and construction. When Bedford became a Green Community, it received a grant of just over $148,000 from the state for energy-related projects.
The Energy Manager will work one day in Bedford and two days in Arlington each week. His/her duties will include: collection of data to fulfill Green Communities grant reporting requirements; collaboration with town and school building occupants to identify energy saving strategies; monitoring energy use; tracking fuel prices; looking for more grants or savings opportunities; and preparing for the next increase of Stretch Code and Green Community requirements.
“The Green Communities are entitled to apply for follow-up grants,” said Director Jones. “The Energy Manager could put together and file the application for that….I’m looking for a generalist, an administrative-type person, someone who will help us implement the energy-savings plan. Arlington is looking for a person with the same skill set.”
Jones says that he is comfortable with the technical aspects of energy efficiencies. He adds that the utilities companies are helpful with technical resources. For these reasons, he is not looking for either an engineer or technical person.
Bedford will get a say in who is hired, but the Energy Manager is technically Arlington’s employee.
The total cost to Bedford for this shared employee is $24,406.49. The Schools will absorb 70% and the Town will cover the remaining 30%. On the Town side, the portion of the Energy Manager’s salary will be covered by an expected $16,210 in savings from projects to be completed over the next few months. The project with the most significant savings involves retrofitting of energy efficient lighting at the DPW building on Great Road.