New Boiler Upgrades at Jamaica Plain Julia Martin House Result in 34% Energy Savings

Braintree, MA (April 10, 2017) – Full-service real estate and property management firm Peabody Properties announced that they have reduced the gas consumption of the Julia Martin House, located in Jamaica Plain, by 34% as a result of the installation of a new, upgraded boiler system. Financial audits show $6,086 savings in the property’s gas bill. Lower gas emissions seen in the first year equate to as much as taking seven cars off the road for a year.

The new boiler upgrade is just one more significant outcome of Peabody Properties’ four-year-plus relationship with Low-Income Energy Affordability Network (LEAN), a Mass Save program administered locally by Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD). This partnership is focused on the shared goal of energy efficiency for many of Peabody’s affordable multi-family communities, while ensuring residents’ comfort. Peabody Properties tracks all energy usage through WegoWise, an online tool for tracking utility data. Peabody Properties has received over $12 million in funding for energy conservation measures through state and utility incentives directed at affordable housing, and so far has achieved more than $2 million in annual savings through reduced utility costs.

Peabody particularly enjoys working with LEAN and ABCD in a team effort with the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC), owner and developer of 12 permanently affordable rental properties, including the Julia Martin House, managed by Peabody.

Named after longtime community activist (and now resident) Julia Martin, the Julia Martin House is located in Jamaica Plain’s Jackson Square, site of one of the largest community-led master plans in the nation. The beautiful, four-story community of 56 one-bedroom apartment homes is an example of community-driven design and offers a range of support services and activities designed for residents (62 years of age and older) to live actively and independently. Previous energy conservation initiatives incorporated within the Julia Martin House include code-exceeding insulation, pre-heating intake air, green building materials, and energy-efficient windows. The community also features a lush landscape with sitting areas for barbeques and picnics. In 2011, the Julia Martin House won a national award from the MetLife Foundation for Excellence in Affordable Housing.

Julia Martin, who will be 88 in July, has lived in Jamaica Plain for the last 60 years. She was a founding member of Mothers for Action, a group of public housing residents who confronted major problems facing their community and created their own solutions. Initiatives the group worked on include organizing community youth sports, creating a halfway house for young adults trying to break their drug addiction, opening a community health center and senior center, and ensuring affordable and quality senior housing.

The attainment and installation of the new boiler was a true team effort among the Julia Martin maintenance staff, JPNDC, Peabody Properties, and Julia Martin herself. When the initial plan seemed stalled, Martin voiced concerns about the need for a new boiler directly to ABCD who listened, quickly green-lighting the project for installation.

JPNDC’s Executive Director Richard Thal said, “The Julia Martin House is a wonderful community that has been steeped in environmentally-conscious initiatives since it was first developed. It’s great to have these efforts reinforced through continued energy upgrades with positive outcomes that provide comfort for our residents, cost savings to the bottom line, and a lower impact on the carbon footprint. That said, the fact that Julia Martin helped prompt this boiler replacement is the best part of this story.”