BOSTON -- Citizen Energy Chairman Joseph P. Kennedy II joined KeySpan Chairman Robert B. Catell today at a Boston homeless shelter to announce their partnership to provide energy upgrades throughout Eastern Massachusetts.
During the news conference at the Boston Family Shelter, Kennedy and Catell describe a three-year alliance that has provided over $200,000 in energy improvements to 59 shelters, including several receiving assistance this year. The total lifetime value of the energy savings tops $1 million.
“Energy savings right now mean more money in the pockets of shelters to use for other critically needed services,” said Kennedy, whose Citizens Energy currently helps over 160 emergency shelters in Massachusetts and Rhode Island cover their winter heating costs. “It just doesn’t make sense to provide energy assistance to see it disappear through leaky doors, windows and roofs, or get wasted in inefficient hearing and hot water systems. We are proud to join with KeySpan and my good friend Bob Catell to make sure our most vulnerable citizens stay warm and get the services they need.”
The news conference comes at a time of increasing pressure on the budgets of homeless shelters, which are reeling from public sector cuts even as demand for emergency beds rises throughout the region.
“The good news is that shelters across this region are getting it when it comes to the efficiency message,” said Catell. “Winter is just around the corner. We don’t have a crystal ball on what the weather will bring or what energy prices will be, but thanks to the foresight of shelter administrators, Citizens and KeySpan are in a better position to serve their needs.”
Since starting the shelter initiative in 2001, KeySpan has performed energy audits at 59 shelters, providing financial incentives for energy upgrades and donating material and labor for projects ranging from new steam trap and boilers and burners to energy-efficient windows, doors, and insulation. The Boston Family Shelter, which houses nine families, including 13 children, has upgraded its heating equipment and installed new windows. An additional $15,000 commitment announced today by KeySpan will allow the shelter to deliver its window replacement program and install new doors.
“We very much appreciate these energy improvements,” said Sheree Marinelli, acting executive director of Shelter, Inc., which runs the Boston Family Shelter along with two other shelters and four permanent housing sites and supportive services. “They allow us to stretch our precious resources to help even more people in need.
Also attending the press conference were representatives of Father Bill’s Place in Quincy, Mary’s House in Waltham, and the Pine Street Inn in Boston.
“The Pine Street Inn appreciates Citizens Energy’s and KeySpan’s continuing support in holding down our energy costs,” said Lindia Downie, executive director of the Pine Street Inn.