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Healey-Driscoll Administration Invests $50 Million to Enhance Energy Efficiency in Massachusetts Public Higher Education System

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New Capital Funding Program Supports Decarbonization at Public Colleges and Universities

BOSTON, MA — The Healey-Driscoll Administration is launching a $50 million funding program to help meet the state’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 by renewing facilities, systems, and infrastructure on Massachusetts’s public higher education campuses. Under this program, the Administration is allocating $50 million within the five University of Massachusetts (UMass) campuses, nine state universities, and 15 community colleges to fund projects that advance state decarbonization efforts, address deferred maintenance, and increase climate resilience. 

“This investment in the Massachusetts public higher education system will benefit generations of students to come,” said Secretary of Administration & Finance Matthew J. Gorzkowicz. “We are grateful for the legislature’s partnership in maximizing the benefits we can provide to the Massachusetts education system by utilizing the new Fair Share revenue.”   

“This new funding program bolsters the Commonwealth’s ongoing, strategic efforts to decarbonize state assets,” said Division of Capital Asset Management & Maintenance (DCAMM) Commissioner Adam Baacke. “We look forward to collaborating with the Commonwealth’s colleges and universities to deliver tangible improvements on every campus while ensuring that our higher education system as a whole is resilient and equipped for the future.” 

“Investing in the infrastructure of our public higher education system is critical as we continue to expand access and affordability for students across Massachusetts,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Patrick Tutwiler. “As part of the Healey-Driscoll administration’s whole of government approach to clean climate, I’m glad these capital investments in our institutions of higher learning appropriately prioritize energy savings and decarbonization. Forward-looking investments like these will advance the climate resiliency of our public universities and colleges, allowing them to serve future generations of Massachusetts learners.” 

“These investments will allow our colleges and universities to advance their goals of greater carbon efficiency, a priority shared by campus leaders, faculty, staff and students,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Noe Ortega. “These funds will bring needed support to campuses’ ongoing sustainability efforts, resulting in lasting benefits for these public institutions, students and our Commonwealth.”

“These smart investments will pay dividends—in energy savings and building performance, resilience to more disruptive impacts of climate change, and healthier learning environments,” said Climate Chief Melissa Hoffer. “And importantly, with A&F’s and DCAMM’s leadership, we are demonstrating to our students, the leaders of tomorrow, that we can do this, our clean energy future is within reach, and we are one hundred percent committed to taking the steps necessary to use energy wisely and phase out reliance on harmful fossil fuels to protect their future and the futures of generations to come.”

The Fiscal Year 2024 budget signed by Governor Maura Healey in August 2023 established this funding program as part of a blueprint to utilize new revenue generated from the Fair Share income surtax. 

The Commonwealth’s public higher education system serves over 235,000 students and generates two-thirds of the carbon emissions in the DCAMM portfolio. Consequently, this is an important focus of reduction efforts. Under the program announced today, funding will be distributed among the UMass, state university, and community college segments based on square footage, which corresponds to rate of carbon emissions—with approximately $26.5 million for the UMass system, approximately $11.6 million for state universities, and approximately $11.9 million for community colleges. 

In collaboration with the Executive Office of Education, the Department of Higher Education, and DCAMM, institutions will identify, plan, and complete projects that utilize this funding by June 30, 2025. Examples of projects eligible for this program include: 

  • Energy efficiency projects that lessen the consumption of onsite fossil fuels 
  • Electrification–including but not limited to installing heat pumps or heat pump hot water heaters, EV charging, and onsite renewables
  • Building envelope repairs–including but not limited to window replacements, door replacements, insulation, and weatherization
  • Tree planting and the creation of carbon sinks
  • Projects that encourage walking/biking in lieu of vehicular trips
  • Programmatic projects that result in more efficient space use

About DCAMM

The Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance works with state agencies to create and manage forward-thinking, sustainable buildings to meet the needs of the citizens they serve. DCAMM oversees the Commonwealth’s capital assets, totaling over 65 million square feet and including all state buildings except authority, county, municipally-owned, or other non-state buildings occupied by state agencies. DCAMM partners with fellow agencies to help them meet their strategic needs with fiscally responsible building and real estate solutions, and supports the growth of the Commonwealth’s economy by actively engaging with private sector partners to make it easier to do business with the Commonwealth.

Source: https://www.mass.gov/news/healey-driscoll-administration-invests-50-million-to-enhance-energy-efficiency-in-massachusetts-public-higher-education-system

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