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Framingham debuting innovative underground energy sharing project

By District Energy posted 06-03-2024 22:47

  

10 Boston

Summary

Jennifer and Eric Mauchan live in a Cape Cod-style house in Framingham, Massachusetts, that they've been cooling with five air conditioners. In the summer, the electric bill for the 2,600-square-foot home can be $200.

In the winter, heating with natural gas is often more than $300 a month, even with the temperature set at 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius).

"My mom, when she was alive, wouldn't come to our house in the wintertime," because it was too cold, Eric Mauchan said.

But beginning Tuesday, their neighborhood will be part of a pilot climate solution that connects 37 homes and businesses with a highly-efficient, underground heating and cooling system. Even taking into account that several of the buildings will be switching from natural gas to electricity, people are expected to see their electric bills drop by 20% on average. It's a model some experts say can be scaled up and replicated elsewhere.

"As soon as they told me about it, I bought in 100%," said Jennifer Mauchan, who works in finance, remembering her first meeting with representatives from Eversource, the gas and electric utility that installed the system. "From a financial perspective, I thought that it was a very viable option for us." She cited lower greenhouse gases that cause climate change as an important factor in the decision.

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