Conserving Water and Energy in 2015
The Sustainability Plan for Pilgrim Place
In 2013 the Executive Committee of the Board for Pilgrim Place unanimously approved a Sustainability Plan proposed by the Environmental Concerns Committee (ECC) through a participatory decision-making process supported by the Town Meeting Executive Committee (TMX) that involved half the Pilgrim Place residents in small group discussions. The Plan affirms that:
Sustainability involves living more carefully within the ecosystems of our Claremont neighborhood. It also requires living within the financial constraints of our community’s budget and investing in ways that will conserve energy and water for decades to come.
The Sustainability Plan sets goals to conserve water and energy, to increase recycling and reduce waste, and to be accountable for the environmental changes that will nurture a more ecological way of life. This report documents water and energy conservation by Pilgrim Place through 2015.
In 2015 water use at Pilgrim Place was 1/3 of 2001, even with a 10% increase in residents. So, despite a significant rise in the unit cost of water, the water bill for Pilgrim Place in 2015 was $41,286 lower than in 2014.
To achieve these savings in 2015, Pilgrim Place stopped watering many back and side yards while irrigating the front yards and common areas of the campus only 30 minutes a week—as allowed by State restrictions.
The new multi-unit residences built in 2010 to a Gold LEED standard are extremely energy efficient, and have solar panels that contribute to the lighting. Energy efficient upgrades have been completed on more than 2/3 of the 102 single-family houses on the Pilgrim Place, and the remaining houses will be upgraded over the next few years. As “independent living” residents in these homes pay their own energy bills, the charts confirm only the energy use for other buildings.
Specific sustainability goals for 2015 included monitoring the lights and the thermostats in common-use buildings.
In 2015 electricity use by the Health Services Center (HSC) was 54% of the total and 52% of the total cost.
Also, in 2015 HSC reduced its use of natural gas by 15% compared to 2014. In 2015 HSC natural gas use was 77% of the total and 66% of the total costs.
As natural gas unit costs were lower in 2015 than in 2014, the HSC costs in 2015 were 25% lower than in 2014.
The ECC is grateful to the staff members and residents who made these savings possible.