August 16, 2009

It used to be that being green cost more, with the tight budgets that cities faced it was often difficult to find the initial capitol to initiate projects that would have long term positive impacts on both the environment and our budgets.  Two weeks ago, the council got its first look at just how much potential savings were available in one small area of energy use in our community.  Electrical use in our buildings is a small portion of our budget, however, three companies came forward with proposals that could save us upwards of $6000 annually (after subtracting capitol costs).  By working with our partners at WPPI Energy we can amortize the capitol costs over 10 years at 0% and see the benefits immediately in our 2010 budget.  The council will make a decision on the project at its August 17th meeting.

This is just the beginning of our goal to see major reductions in energy use (and cost to the taxpayer) without changing the level of service provided. Currently we are working with the Sustainability Board to provide training for our management team encouraging new ways to think about energy use, the environment, and long range goals for our community.   These discussions all look toward long term quality of service and cost of service goals.  One of the greatest savings on the energy front currently being explored appears to be changing the bulbs in our streetlights to induction from HPS.  Without a noticeable change in light levels or quality we could see potential cost savings of $30,000 annually (after capitol costs) according to current projections (this project is still being reviewed).

Looking toward the next generation, and future of our community, we must be green; and it's good for today's taxpayers and your pocketbook to boot!

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