City takes first step

Posted 10/15/08

A completed feasibility study indicates Englewood could save about $300,000 a year by enacting an energy efficiency program. The study is a result of …

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City takes first step


A completed feasibility study indicates Englewood could save about $300,000 a year by enacting an energy efficiency program.

The study is a result of the city taking advantage of a program through the Governor’s Energy Office that provided a free energy-efficiency study.

“We worked with the Governor’s Energy Office and their contractor, Trident Energy Service, on the feasibility study,” deputy city manager Mike Flaherty told the city council at the Oct. 13 study session. “The study looked at energy used by all city facilities and the findings are the city can be more energy efficient, particularly in the area of electricity.”

The next step will be to select a company from about a dozen recommended by the state and contract with it to provide the energy-saving improvements. The expectation is savings in future energy and maintenance costs will pay for the contractor’s services.

“We contract with an energy service company to conduct a full, in-depth energy audit,” Flaherty said. “The audit will establish the energy-saving measures needed and the plan is to pay for the improvements over time from the energy-cost savings the improvements produce … over the next 10-15 years.”

Councilwoman Jill Wilson is a proponent of “going green” and has been urging the city to move in that direction since she joined the council last year.

She said she is glad to see the city moving toward greater energy efficiency.

“I am pleased we have gotten this far and I hope we can continue to work on this project,” she said after the Oct. 13 meeting. “I believe it is good for the city to set the example in taking steps to be more energy efficient. I feel it is the right thing to do.”

The announcement of the free audit services offered through the state got the ball rolling and Flaherty has been working on the project since June.

The feasibility study produced a lengthy report that included evaluation of last year’s energy costs and possible actions to reduce those costs.

According to the report, the city spent more than $500,000 to illuminate, heat and cool its buildings last year. The Englewood Civic Center is a recently renovated building and the energy cost of $1.21 per square foot was the most energy efficient of the city buildings. The ServiCenter had the highest energy bills at $2.37 per square foot with the recreation center at $2.36 per square foot and the safety services building at $2.27.

Some of the preliminary suggestions to reduce energy costs include switching to more energy-efficient lighting, upgrade heating controls and systems.

“The report pointed to the biggest potential savings at the Englewood-Littleton Wastewater Treatment Plant and at our water treatment plant,” Flaherty told the council. “Both are enterprise-fund facilities, meaning they are independently funded and not funded through the city’s general fund. In both cases, the enterprise fund will cover any energy efficiency improvement costs. Also, since the wastewater treatment plant is jointly owned by Englewood and Littleton, moving forward with an energy efficiency project, there would require the approval of both city councils.”

He noted that the city will take the next step by establishing the necessary contracts but noted it will be about two years before work begins.

Flaherty said a number of area government agencies have launched similar energy efficiency programs such as Arvada, Westminster and Arapahoe County. All reported reduced energy bills with the largest savings coming from more efficient systems for swimming pools at the recreation center and increased energy efficiency at wastewater treatment plants.

— City works with state to use less energy

— Preliminary audit says changes could save city money

— Savings in energy costs expected to cover cost of improvements


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