The owners of the Salem Inn, Dick and Diane Pabich, decided that the Inn needed to go green. They felt that it was part of their duties as property owners to be good stewards of the environment and thus decided to put efforts into making the Inn more carbon neutral. It is also in keeping with the city of Salem’s 2021 Climate Action Plan, an effort to make the Salem carbon neutral by 2050. As such, the three building that constitute the Inn have undergone green makeovers.
All four furnaces in the buildings The West House, built in 1834, The Curwen House, built in 1854, and the Peabody House, built in 1874 have been removed and replaced with high-efficiency heat pumps. These will give guests complete control of the temperature in their rooms, something that was difficult using antiquated gas and oil heating systems and window ac units, as well as taking polluting gas and oil out of the picture.
The Pabichs are also having solar panels installed on the roofs of two of the Inn’s buildings and their own home in Salem as well. (The Curwen House is in an historic district and thus is subjected to different zoning rules that do not allow it.) The energy generated by the solar power will be used to run the heat pumps, as well as other electrical needs of the Inn. Any surplus electricity will be sold back to the grid. The cost of these upgrades—$407,331—will be recouped in about 10 years, the Pabichs estimate.
As an added bonus, the Pabichs assume that their business will increase as a result of their efforts, as green tourism is becoming an undeniable trend. Diane Pabich says, “I’m very excited about the project both because of the environmental benefits but also from the point of view of marketing. I think environmentally-conscious people will love it.”
May 9. 2022