City of Providence, RI

12/09/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/09/2021 06:43

Mayor Elorza Announces Winner of Annual Providence RePowerPVD Challenge

Johnson & Wales University's Academic Center surpasses challenge participants with a 44.6% reduction in energy consumption

December 9, 2021

PROVIDENCE, RI- Mayor Jorge O. Elorza and Providence Director of Sustainability Leah Bamberger today announced the release of the latest RePowerPVD Report and a new challenge winner, Johnson & Wales University's Academic Center.

RePowerPVD is the City of Providence's voluntary energy challenge program, designed to help large buildings in the City conserve energy, save money and gain recognition for their leadership and contributions to Mayor Elorza's goal to make Providence carbon neutral by 2050. Johnson & Wales University's Academic Center, located at 138 Matthewson Street, is the third RePowerPVD challenge winner; previous winners of the challenge include Reservoir Avenue Elementary School and Mary E. Fogarty Elementary School.

"Acting on climate change is necessary to the future wellbeing of cities like Providence," said Mayor Jorge Elorza. "By increasing the efficiency of the buildings we live and work in, we can create more comfortable spaces that contribute to solving the climate crisis. I applaud Johnson &Wales University for their work to reduce the energy demand of their Academic Center and congratulate them on this award."

Johnson & Wales University reduced the energy consumption of their Academic Center by 44.6% compared to their 2015 baseline usage. The Academic Center saved 4,835 metric million British thermal units (MMBTU) of energy in 2019 and 2020.

"Johnson & Wales continues to have a strong commitment to reducing our energy use and carbon footprint," said Matthew Fannon, director of sustainability and resource management at Johnson & Wales University. "From replacing aging boilers and water-cooling chillers with energy efficient models to transitioning from fluorescent to LED lighting, our focus over the last five years was to renovate the Academic Building - home to JWU's Occupational Therapy Doctorate program - with sustainable building practices in mind. We're grateful to the City of Providence for recognizing our efforts and look forward to continuing to create a more sustainable campus."

Participants in the RePowerPVD 20 Percent by 2025 Energy Challenge, including six property owners and City-owned buildings representing a total portfolio of 2.1 million gross square feet, saved a total of 42,111 MMBTU of energy between 2019 and 2020.The saved energy was enough to power 344 homes for one year or equal to removing 621 cars from the road.

RePowerPVD supports participating property owners by helping building owners track their energy use via the free online reporting platform,ENERGY STARĀ® Portfolio ManagerĀ®. Participants receive support from the Providence Office of Sustainability with tracking their building energy use and measuring their progress towards achieving a 20 percent savings goal. Buildings that achieve this goal are recognized on a plaque in Providence City Hall and through the program's website,

Any building in the City of Providence over 10,000 square feet may be entered the 20 Percent by 2025 Energy Challenge by committing to reduce energy consumption - as measured by weather normalized Energy Use Intensity (EUI) - by 20% by 2025. To be eligible for the award, buildings must be located in Providence and see a 20% reduction in energy usage throughout a calendar year. In addition, RePowerPVD also includes the Race to Zero Challenge, in which participants can enter the race to become the first zero energy building in Providence. All eligibility requirements can be found at Property owners interested in participating in RePowerPVD should contact the Office of Sustainability at [email protected].