Northeast Utilities’ Energy Conscious Construction (ECC) Program provides building owners and designers with the education, technical assistance, and direct financial incentives to incorporate energy-efficient design principles and technologies into new construction and major renovation projects. For buildings less than 50,000 ft2, the ECC program provides "prescriptive" incentives: predetermined rebates for a variety of efficiency measures. For buildings larger than 50,000 ft2, the much larger part of the program, the ECC program offers a comprehensive approach including the provision of technical experts who work with the building owner’s design team to build in energy efficiency through careful building design coupled with state of the art, energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems. This has resulted in participating buildings that use an average of 25% less energy than non-participating buildings.
The ECC program was redesigned in 1988 as a result of the New England Collaborative process. At that time the program’s incentives were increased and now NU pays the entire incremental cost of the efficiency upgrades. Also in that year NU published their Energy and Economics Guidebook which explains how new construction can be energy-efficient without higher costs. Education has been perhaps the most significant success of the program. The educational component has focused on the design professionals who participate in the projects. These designers learn, in the most direct way, that energy-efficient design is technically, aesthetically, and fiscally sound.
The ECC program is currently being offered through NU’s operating subsidiaries in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. The data presented in this profile reflects only the costs and savings at the far larger Connecticut Light and Power program. The CL&P ECC program saved 11 GWh and 2.67 MW of summer peak capacity, 1.79 MW winter peak, in 1990 at a total cost of $3.8 million. Though much of the data regarding participation is preliminary, the ECC program appears to be capturing a significant portion of the new commercial construction market. In 1991, some 12 million square feet of new buildings were commissioned in the CL&P service territory, and ECC signed contracts with 8.5 million square feet.
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