The Sterling Center Y in Beverly, MA, has joined the growing number of fitness facilities that are switching to environmentally friendly energy services.

The Y has entered into a 15-year agreement with American DG Energy that will allow the facility to generate the energy it needs on site, rather than buying electricity generated at a power plant and using a boiler to generate heat. The energy is produced by a 75kW combined heat and power (CHP) system, designed and installed by American DG, an on-site utility.

The company estimates that its CHP system will reduce the amount of emissions the facility produces by 330 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

The Sterling Y’s bottom line also will benefit from the switch. The CHP system generates energy more efficiently, and American DG sells the power it produces to the facility at a lower cost than local utility companies. These factors are expected to help the Y save $200,000 in energy costs over the term of the contract.

Going green is becoming an increasingly popular way for fitness and recreation facilities to lower their operating costs. Along with CHP systems, other facilities have installed user-powered cardio equipment, solar panels, energy-efficient lighting and ceiling fans to reduce energy costs.