This blog post was contributed by Gerald Robbins, Executive Director of Hyde Jackson Square Main Streets in Jamaica Plain.
Hyde Jackson Square Main Street (HJSMS) is one of the first pilot communities in the United States to participate in America Saves!, a national effort to improve the energy performance of historic buildings in Main Street communities while also encouraging investments and upgrades for greater efficiency and cost savings to local businesses.
Selected by The Preservation Green Lab of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Main Street Center, and funded by a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, HJSMS’ project—Centre Street Saves—is designed to support the commercial business district’s collective success by improving building performance and energy efficiency.
HJSMS volunteers recruited and trained in January are currently collecting energy usage and space data for 75 businesses in the Hyde & Jackson Squares neighborhood in Jamaica Plain. Surveys are mainly being administered in English and Spanish.
HJSMS and the National Trust organizations expect that the data collected will help business operators and property owners understand their building and space energy performance, and encourage them to consider upgrades for improving their buildings’ energy performance in a cost-effective manner. This project complements successful programs such as the City’s Renew Boston, where discounts on materials and system upgrades are accounting for thousands of dollars in savings to small businesses while substantially reducing energy usage.
And for all their hard work, volunteer data collectors and participating business and property owners are receiving a gift card or gift certificate to a neighborhood business.
Data collection wraps up by mid-March. For more program information, or if you are interested volunteering with this unique project, contact Hyde Jackson Square Main Street at 617-522-3694 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.