TOWNSEND -- Townsend is halfway toward meeting its goal to cut energy use in the town by 20 percent to retain its status as a "green community," according to town officials.
Town Administrator Andrew Sheehan said that an appointed Energy Committee had been tasked with formulating and implementing a plan for energy reduction between fiscal years 2011 and 2015.
"There's a plan that was adopted by the Board of Selectmen a couple of years ago, that was developed by the Energy Committee. The energy committee is working on green communities and is constantly looking for new projects and new ways to reduce energy. The board is relying on that committee," Sheehan said.
Land Use Coordinator Karen Chapman, who is working with the Energy Committee to coordinate implementation of the plan, said that she believes the town is on track toward meeting this energy reduction target, but it is too early to know for sure.
Grant money has been used to fund energy audits and begin conservation measures at Town Hall and the police station, Chapman said.
"In the past six months we've done a lot of things and I don't think the energy savings have been realized on that yet, because they're so recent. We've replaced the boilers in the police station, replaced the lighting. We're doing a lot of things that should save energy," Chapman said.
Chapman also said the committee is working on some other big projects, including replacing lighting at Town Hall, adding insulation and replacing two water pumps.
"We're hoping that by replacing those two pumps, electricity will go down because the water department uses by far the most electricity because it's on 24/7," Chapman said.
The energy reduction plan targets energy consumption in the library, senior center, Town Hall and fire and police stations, as well as fuel use in vehicles, as being the biggest energy users in the town.
Reducing energy consumption in town buildings by 20 percent is a requirement to maintain a town's green community status, which brings with it grant money that Townsend can continue to use to fund such projects.
Chapman said she does not yet know if a town's green community status would be revoked immediately if the target goal is not reached, or if a grace period would be given.
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