FinCom Approves Esco Projects
The vote marks a turn-around since June.
For Town Meeting in June, the Finance Committee voted to reject a proposed $4.3 million in energy savings projects in various buildings around town, and voters followed their lead and rejected the ESCO -- energy savings company -- projects.
Maylor pledged to push forward with the proposed ESCO projects, hoping to sway the Finance Committee and eventually the voters.
Last week, the Finance Committee voted to approve the ESCO projects.
"I think what the Finance Committee communicated [at Town Meeting] was that this was a substantial project that had a lot of moving parts," Maylor said. With more than 80 projects in the ESCO proposal, Maylor said there wasn't enough time before Town Meeting to go over them in detail enough to make the Finance Committee comfortable with the large price tag. And at Town Meeting, the Finance Committee rejected it saying they needed more time.
Maylor said he met with the Finance Committee in the fall and answered their questions about the cost and savings of the proposal, pointing out that Reading and Lowell have done similar energy savings projects and have seen dramatic savings as a result.
The ESCO project would include energy management and energy savings initiatives, as well as infrastructure upgrades (including new lighting and new air units). The money spent on it was guaranteed to be paid over the next 15 years from projected energy savings.
Energy Performance Contracting is a type of project that provides a comprehensive set of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures and often offers a guarantee that the savings produced by a project will finance the full cost of it.
Massachusetts state law requires that an EPC project be delivered by a qualified Energy Service Company (ESCO). The company that was to deliver North Andover's ESCO project was Peregrine Energy Group, a company that serves as regional energy management for the 15 communities within the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission.