3.02.2006

Gee, who forgot to turn out the lights?

Daniel Black of the Newton Tab digs into an interesting problem: Why is Newton paying for thousands of dollars in electricity bills for the Crystal Lake Bathhouse this winter, even though no one is using it?
[City spokesman Jeremy Solomon] said the gas boiler that heats the building is turned on each time by electricity, which, in addition to a soda machine and the alarm system, accounts for the usage. Asked why taxpayers should be paying to keep the soda cold during the winter when no one is in the building, Solomon said he wasn't sure.
Well, Jeremy and Dan, I'd suggest that there may be another force at work: Corporate greed on the part of NStar. This is a company that should be actively notifying its customers of winter electricity waste, yet does nothing so the money can keep rolling in. How about calling up the folks at NStar, and ask them to spend a day or two with city workers to evaluate energy waste at major public buildings in Newton? Here's another tip: Send notices to office buildings and schools, telling them best practices for conserving electricity during off-hours?

Another idea: Actually checking the electricity usage at the Crystal Lake bathhouse, to make sure the meters are accurately recording electricity usage there. I wouldn't put it past a monopoly to fudge the figures to their own advantage.

And while you're at it, how about checking the other unused utilities at public facilities? Maybe Verizon and BostonGas (or whatever they're called now) have similar free money deals with city facilities.

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