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Historic home to be model of energy use
By Emma Sapong
Buffalo News Reporter
Published:October 27, 2011
National Grid and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus will transform a historic home into an energy-efficiency learning center, showcasing cutting-edge measures that will eventually be integrated into the campus.
The National Grid model energy home will be the first major project of “energize BNMC,” a partnership between the utility company and the health care campus. The collaboration aims to create energy solutions for the burgeoning campus and its surrounding community.
In the process, officials hope to reduce costs, spur economic growth and introduce alternative energy and transportation.
“It’s a change in how we all think about energy, and I think it’s a change we all need to be a part of,” said Jim Madej, National Grid’s senior vice president and chief customer officer. “Both National Grid and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus believe change starts with a bold and innovative approach to energy innovation.” The pairing of the utility and medical center could distinguish the region as a global energy leader.
“Today we are entering a new era of Buffalo’s energy history by looking to the future,” he said.
The partnership was announced Wednesday in the backyard of the planned model energy home, a two-story house on Washington Street near the health campus, during a news conference attended by Mayor Byron W. Brown and Erie County Executive Chris Collins, along with executives from the National Grid and BNMC. “We are proud to be partnering with National Grid on an energy-innovation partnership that will enable the growth of the campus in connection with the surrounding communities,” said Matt Enstice, president and CEO of BNMC. Enstice said that BNMC is anticipating significant growth and energy and that transportation will be its major challenges, prompting the pairing with National Grid in April. “Our focus is on using energy innovation to create jobs on campus and in the region,” he said.
So far, electric car chargers, LEED buildings and solar panels have been installed. The model energy home, a brick house built in 1915, will be renovated and retrofitted with the latest in energy efficiency. It will also feature interactive exhibits.
Enstice said consumers may not be aware of opportunities to reduce energy consumption. The learning center will inform residents about home energy management and technologies.
The model home should be completed in a year, he said.