Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Solar Hot Water Heating At The Longfellow Club

“LittleFoot Energy Corporation in Somerville, a provider of green and efficient energy solutions for enterprises, recently installed a solar hot water heating system at the Longfellow Club in Wayland. The state-of-the-art system, which became operational Dec. 31, 2008, is run by a series of solar panels on the roof of the club and will heat over 50 percent of the hot water for the swimming pool and showers. As one of the largest solar arrays in New England, it will take the place of burning 20,800 cubic yards of natural gas annually, will lower energy costs by $10,000 annually, and will reduce Longfellow’s carbon footprint by approximately 67,432 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, the amount absorbed by 9.6 acres of forest. The Longfellow Club views this solar installation as another step toward becoming a good environmental citizen and supporting the growth and development of the green and local economy. Since its purchase by the current owners in 1980, the club has been an environmental leader in the community and health club industry. Longfellow has been an early adopter of recycling practices, made several breakthrough efforts to conserve water and energy, including installing waterless urinals, which save 135,000 gallons of water per year, and hosted several MetroWest Earth Day celebrations. ‘This solar installation is the next major step in our goal to becoming the greenest health club in the United States,’ said Laury Hammel, founder and president of the Longfellow Club. ‘In the past three years, Longfellow’s energy expenses have more than doubled, resulting in budget crushing energy costs. Even with today’s lower energy bills, this investment in our solar hot water heater will pay financial and environmental dividends for years to come.’ LittleFoot CEO Kevin Poulsen of Wayland is enthused about this new renewable energy system. According to Poulsen, there are four primary benefits to this type of solar installation – immediate energy cost savings, long-term protection from fossil fuel price increases, helping stop global warming by decreasing the club’s carbon emissions, and positive community goodwill by demonstrating leadership in green business practices. The system cost $142,500, of which over $100,000 will be recovered in the first year from government and utility incentives and annual energy savings. The total remaining payback is projected to be less than five years, with more than 32 percent return on investment after that.”

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