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Eco-efficiency center makes its pitch to Shirley board

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

By Katina Caraganis

MediaNews

SHIRLEY — The Shirley Energy Committee was expected to decide this morning if it wants to work with the Devens Eco-Efficiency Center to become more energy-efficient.

Committee members asked selectmen Monday night to appropriate $100 for the membership fee should the committee vote to officially become a member today.

According to Brian Dumont, chairman of the Energy Committee, a representative from the company will be on hand today to present what Eco-Efficiency can offer the town and what the benefits would be in joining.

Dumont said the committee is hoping the town eventually becomes a so-called “green community,” which could potentially bring major benefits.

“We could get anywhere from $110,000 to $160,000 in grant money for becoming a green community,” Dumont said. “This could be a way to save the town a lot of money, and even generate a revenue stream.”

Dumont said the town is averaging between $200,000 and $300,000 annually in energy costs. “If we could cut that in half, it would be huge,” he said.

Selectman Andy Deveau, also a Energy Committee member, said bringing Eco-Star on board would be a step in the right direction.

Deveau has been leading the charge to bring a solar farm to town. With the town’s annual membership dues, Eco-Star would provide two hours of free consulting a month, which Deveau believes could help with the solar farm and help the town become a green community.

“If anything, they have the historical knowledge we don’t have. We’re all trying to get out of the gate with this,” said Deveau. “They know state regulations and know how to get your application from the bottom of the pile to the top of the pile.”

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