Greater Boston YMCA

Case study

Developing a strategy to achieve energy cost savings and emissions reductions with a Building Decarbonization Roadmap

The Greater Boston YMCA is dedicated to improving the health of mind, body, and spirit of individuals and families in more than 55 communities in and near the City of Boston. They do this through programs, services, and spaces where everyone is seen, heard, and safe. They demand equity for all, to create a community and nation free of racism, inequities, and inequality. In the face of rising energy costs and potential penalties for not meeting emissions thresholds, every dollar saved is one that can be redirected into their mission.

Meeting Reporting Requirements

For the Y’s facilities located inside the City of Boston, recent emissions reduction regulations and reporting requirements, known as BERDO, have added another layer of complexity to their energy. BERDO requires city buildings meet certain emissions reductions every year or face hefty fines for noncompliance. But for the Y, reducing emissions is more than just meeting requirements, it is yet another way to implement their mission of improving health, furthering equity, and serving communities.

Since 2003, the Greater Boston YMCA has been a member of PowerOptions and purchased competitive electricity and natural gas supply from our programs through YMCA Shared Services. They looked to us, their trusted energy partner, for guidance and direction on complying with BERDO, and PowerOptions’ expanding Energy Sustainability and Analytics team developed a strategy for the Y to decarbonize their buildings, meeting (or exceeding) requirements, with the additional benefit of significant cost savings.

YMCA’s Green Strategy

Using PowerOptions’ Building Decarbonization Roadmap (BDR), the ESA team analyzed 12 buildings in the Y’s portfolio, prioritizing projects, identifying incentives, and projecting cost and emissions reductions. The roadmap determined the largest emissions reductions would come from electrification, energy efficiency, and on-site solar, for the Y to avoid 75,000 metric tons of CO2 and save millions of dollars through 2050. Even better, the Y received a steep discount on the BDR by participating in PowerOptions’ pilot program with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

Savings Without the Hassle

Further, by using a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), there were no capital costs for Framingham, and the city has no ongoing maintenance or operational responsibilities. Moreover, the projects are expected to collectively save the city more than $880,000 over the course of 25 years and lower emissions by an impressive 18,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide (MT CO2), helping Framingham to reach its climate action goals and demonstrate its commitment to sustainability through these highly visible (and we might add – beautiful!) project.

Estimated to save millions of dollars through 2050 and avoiding 75,000 metric tons of CO2.

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Helio Rosa, Vice President of Facilities

"The team at PowerOptions gave us a roadmap to achieve emissions reduction targets, save millions of dollars on energy costs, and help clean the air for the communities we serve. With actionable direction that prioritizes the biggest impact projects matched with valuable incentives, we know where to begin and are already underway with energy efficiency measures."

Helio Rosa, Vice President of Facilities The Greater Boston YMCA
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