CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and utility company NSTAR concluded the first phase of MIT Efficiency Forward — a multimillion-dollar pilot collaboration on energy-use reduction — and due to its success have signed a second agreement to renew the program through 2015. The first phase achieved the program’s goal to reduce 34 million kilowatt-hours of electricity between 2010 and 2012, representing a 15 percent reduction of electricity use on campus.

MIT and NSTAR are now designing a new portfolio of efficiency measures that have the goal of saving an additional 21 million kilowatt-hours annually. For this second phase, the program will also include thermal savings from the reduction of natural gas use on campus, with a goal to save 150,000 therms of natural gas annually over the next three years.

“NSTAR’s expertise delivering large energy efficiency programs paired with MITs exceptional faculty, students and staff is now a proven model for distributing energy efficiency improvements across an entire campus,” says Israel Ruiz, MIT’s executive vice president and treasurer. “It has not only enabled new ways to improve our energy efficiency, but has also allowed us to use our campus as a living laboratory to test new ideas.”

“MIT is a leader in setting and achieving aggressive energy savings goals,” says Tilak Subrahmanian, vice president of energy efficiency for Northeast Utilities, NSTAR’s parent company. “With Efficiency Forward, MIT and NSTAR have set a new standard for partnering with customers that continues to influence other energy-efficiency efforts across our commercial, industrial, and technology sectors. We look forward to working together to achieve our new goals over the next three years.”

Since 2010, work through Efficiency Forward has touched nearly every building on MIT’s campus and started to influence the way the MIT community thinks about and uses energy. The construction of high performance, energy-efficient buildings such as the MIT Sloan School of Management — which beats the baseline building energy code by 45 percent — as well as the installation of energy efficient lighting and refrigeration; HVAC upgrades with advanced thermostats; and compressed air system consolidation have contributed to the success of the program.

In the next phase of the program, MIT and NSTAR will continue to identify opportunities across the building stock with a dedicated focus on maximizing energy savings in new construction projects and renovations. MIT and NSTAR will also create a robust public outreach program to further educate students, staff, and faculty on how they can support energy efficiency efforts around campus.

Since Efficiency Forward launched in 2010, MIT has saved more than $4.4 million in annual operating costs from the energy efficiency and conservation strategies utilized during the program and is expected to capture $50 million in savings over the lifetime of the projects. MIT is expected to save an additional $2.3 million annually from the new three-year program. Efficiency Forward includes a commitment to reinvesting a portion of these savings into future projects.

Publication date: 7/15/2013