The City of Medford’s Energy and Sustainability strategy has been to continually upgrade and modify its
buildings, utilities, and HVAC systems through capital improvement and strategic planning. The city has also performed a solar feasibility study to determine the best possible sites for solar renewable energy, of which two sites now equipped with photovoltaic systems that offset the electricity used at each facilities.
In regard to political tools that help make the City organization more sustainable and energy efficient, the City of Medford aggressively seeks grants and utilizes incentive programs specifically designed for energy and sustainability improvements.
Within the last three years the city has made significant progress upgrading its buildings and HVAC systems through a $729, 000 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Grant (EECBG) and a $443,000 State Energy Program grant. Each grant was regulated through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). In addition to grant projects, the City of Medford actively applies for all available incentives relating to energy reduction from capital improvement projects. Some of these projects include roof and insulation projects, parking light fixture replacements, and computer automation of building energy systems.
Whether heating and cooling a building or reducing the lighting to a reasonable level, some of our greatest challenges involve finding the balance between energy conservation and the diverse comfort level and expectation of facility occupants or patrons. However, as businesses also adopt similar practices of sustainability, the public will begin accepting energy conservation efforts and ultimately help the city achieve success.
Additionally, in recent years, the Public Works Department has installed a new cogeneration engine at the Regional Water Reclamation Facility which will burn all methane generated from sewage treatment and convert it to electricity and heat. (Electricity bill is approximately $10,000 per month without cogeneration.) We have replaced the last street sweeper with equipment fueled by Compressed Natural Gas. We are replacing gasoline equipment (mostly pickups) with more energy-efficient diesel equipment. No stop signs are installed if safety warrants are not met, reducing unnecessary stops and reducing fuel used by vehicles. Intersection traffic signal analyses are being conducted include examining the modern roundabout option which uses no electricity and improves fuel economy for users. One modern roundabout has been installed to date. The Department is testing warm asphalt for pavement overlays which requires less energy to produce. Additionally, we are using concrete pavement where possible which requires less energy to maintain over the life of the street. Street light and traffic signal electricity costs are approximately $600,00 per year. In an effort to reduce the costs we are currently replacing yellow traffic signal bulbs with LEDs. Red and green traffic signal bulbs have all been replaced with LEDs in recent years. Lastly, we have replaced several sewer pump stations with gravity lines, eliminating electricity use for pumps at these locations.
Written by Mr. John Hoke, Deputy City Manager of City of Medford.