Massive Rebate for Energy Efficient Design in Massachusetts

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — There are perks for those using energy efficient designs and the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) is seeing it first hand. Cambridge, Mass.-based, HMFH Architects recently announced that its energy efficient design for CRLS has received the City of Cambridge, Mass., a $226,000 energy rebate from NStar, the largest Mass.-based, investor-owned electric and gas utility company.

The rebate will offset the purchase of energy efficient equipment as part of the school’s recently completed $92 million multi-phase renovation project, and Cambridge will re-invest the savings into other sustainable renovations around the city.

CRLS was designed to achieve LEED Gold certification with its extensive sustainable designs and green building features. The 400,000-square-foot school happens to be the largest energy user in Cambridge, as well as the only high school. While 1,800 students attend the school — it is also used to house community and public events, including evenings and weekends.

“The energy-saving design and new equipment will lower CRLS’s annual energy use by more than 1.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity and nearly 44,000 therms of natural gas,” said Richard Rossi, deputy city manager for the City of Cambridge. “In addition to the rebate from NStar, these upgrades are expected to lower the school’s utility bills by more than $335,000 per year.”

In order to achieve such high-energy savings the upgrades to the school included a photovoltaic rooftop panel array; high efficiency lighting; more effective use of daylight to reduce artifical lighting levels; innovative air handling systems to improve indoor air quality and further reduce energy use; and efficient boilers, pumps and motors to reduce the amount of energy needed to heat the school and provide hot water.

“Widely known for its innovative approaches to teaching and learning, the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School is again leading the way as a model for modernization and sustainability,” said Chin Lin, AIA LEED AP, senior associate at HMFH Architects. “Working closely with CRLS staff, the City of Cambridge, and NStar, we were able to maximize opportunities for energy efficiency within the building structure, on the site, and in relation to the school’s operations.”