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Fitchburg Art Museum Makes Major Energy Improvements

Project receives $93,925 energy efficiency rebate
Fitchburg, MA

It was improving the overall patron experience, including comfort, that prompted Fitchburg Art Museum to embark on a major heating and cooling upgrade of its facility.

The Elm Street and Merriam Parkway buildings received extensive upgrades that include the installation of a building management HVAC software system to optimize the new 14 high efficiency heat pump installed. In addition, a heat pump water heater and two high efficiency natural gas boilers were added to complement the heat pumps.

“We strive to give our patrons a wonderful experience, which also includes compelling pieces of art, but an exceptional facility too. Not only we will be using less energy, which is great for the environment, but these improvements will vastly improve the comfort for our patrons and employees,” said Nick Capasso, director of the Fitchburg Art Museum. “This project was a major undertaking that will pay dividends for years to come.”

The museum worked closely with Unitil to identify which heating and cooling equipment needed upgrades. “These projects are so important, they help our customers use energy more efficiently, reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Unitil’s External Affairs Manager Alec O’Meara said.

According to Unitil, the heat pumps function as the first stage primary heating with oil and gas boilers coming online as outdoor temperatures drop. “Operating the buildings with multiple fuels allows for potential economic optimization as well, switching from heat pumps to legacy fuels when it is cost effective to do so,” added Unitil’s Senior Energy Efficiency Program Coordinator Joe Van Gombos.

While its electric usage will increase, the new heating and cooling systems reduces natural gas usage by 288.6 MMBtu and oil by 97.87 MMBtu annually. The project received a $93,925 energy efficiency rebate from Unitil for achieving a carbon emissions reduction of approximately 20 metric tons, which over the lifetime of the equipment is equivalent to the emissions 43 homes produce annually.


Right Image Photo Caption: Nick Capasso, director of the Fitchburg Art Museum, and Unitil’s Senior Energy Efficiency Program Coordinator Joe Van Gombos in front of a new control panel as part of a major heating and cooling upgrade at the museum's Elm Street and Merriam Parkway buildings in Fitchburg, Mass.  The project received a $93,925 energy efficiency rebate from Unitil.  



About Unitil

Unitil Corporation provides energy for life by safely and reliably delivering electricity and natural gas in New England. We are committed to the communities we serve and to developing people, business practices, and technologies that lead to the delivery of dependable, more efficient energy. Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company with operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Together, Unitil’s operating utilities serve approximately 108,500 electric customers and 88,400 natural gas customers.


Media Contact

Alec O'Meara
Director, External Affairs