Malden is taking part in a project that will make City buildings, including City Hall and all Malden Public Schools, more energy efficient. Working with a contractor called Honeywell, we conducted a detailed audit of City buildings to determine how they could be more efficient. The audit recommended, among other things, converting all lights to LEDs, installing cleaner and more efficient heating and air conditioning units where possible, and installing solar panels where possible like at the DPW, all projects we have made great progress on since starting this project.
We are paid for these upgrades, which will total roughly $8M by the end of the contract period, by bonding the funds. Essentially this means that we borrowed the money to pay for these upgrades. But because they will yield significant energy savings, Malden was able to take part in a program where those energy savings pay for the bond. Rather than us needing to pay back the money we borrowed from City revenues, we pay Honeywell the difference between what we spend on energy now, and what we would spend on energy without these improvements. When they have been full paid for the improvements they’ve done to City buildings, we will start paying the reduced energy costs directly and see real savings for the City.
Through this program and the Massachusetts Green Communities program, we have now replaced 18 rooftop combination air filtration / heating / cooling systems, and we are about to do another 18. In addition to having more energy efficient temperature control, these units will improve air circulation and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Most school buildings have also been converted in energy efficient condensing boilers, which are 90% more efficient than the prior gas boilers.