Friends of Nathaniel Witherell Announces Award of $129+K Energy Efficiency Incentive from Eversource Energy

The good news is that it pays to be energy efficient. The even better news is that someone noticed! The Friends of Nathaniel Witherell is proud to announce an award of $129,156 by Eversource Energy to the Town of Greenwich in recognition of the energy efficiencies incorporated into the construction involved with Project Renew, which upgraded and improved The Nathaniel Witherell‘s infrastructure and environment. Enhancements included installing high efficiency heating, domestic hot water and cooling systems as well as replacing outdated windows and improving lighting, all designed to reduce energy consumption. The Town of Greenwich received the funds as it is owner and operator of Nathaniel Witherell, the highly regarded short-term rehab and skilled nursing center in Greenwich.

Even though you might not notice these “hidden” upgrades at Nathaniel Witherell, they are making a big difference in reducing the costs of operating the facility.

“One of the two biggest savings realized under Project Renew comes from a decrease in gas used to heat the building due to three new high-efficiency boilers, replacing two old ones from the 1960s,” says Allen Brown, Nathaniel Witherell’s Executive Director. “The other is lower cooling costs due to reduced fan speed, achieved by the addition of new chillers to the air conditioning system. We’ve also added dozens of double-pane thermal windows in the new Rehabilitation Center and several other locations.”

At the recent ceremony, Peter Tesei, First Selectman, accepted the check from Eversource Energy on behalf of the Town and thanked the company and all those who were involved in procuring the award. He said that it was an example of “leaving no stone unturned to assist in funding the Town’s major capital projects.” Nathaniel Witherell also extended a special thank you to Stephen Soler, Co-Chairman of the Town’s Nathaniel Witherell Building Committee (which supervised Project Renew) and a member of Nathaniel Witherell’s Board of Directors, who played an important role in identifying the availability of this Eversource Energy rebate program and led the energy audit required to secure the award.

Energy incentive programs, such as the one offered by Eversource, are important to local communities because they reduce the number of new generating facilities needed for increased energy usage, thus reducing ratepayers costs.  It’s interesting to note that a kWh saved by implementing efficiency measures is far less expensive than the cost of a kWh produced by a new generating facility.

Besides the new energy efficiencies, Project Renew has helped modernize and refurbish Nathaniel Witherell by increasing the number of private rooms from 26 to 64 as well as remodeling and decorating 87 resident rooms.  Public space also has been enhanced, including a new 4,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art Rehabilitation Center, new family reception areas, modernization of three elevators along with the addition of a new fourth elevator, and a new emergency generator, among many other facility upgrades.

Total construction costs for Project Renew were $27 million. The Friends of Nathaniel Witherell contributed $4.6 million, secured $4.5 million from the sale of historic rehab tax credits to Eversource Energy, and assisted with the State of Connecticut providing an additional $12 million over a 20-year period.

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