Friday, January 21, 2011

Leaders Discuss Energy Saving Strategies

Allegheny County officials wrap up 2 days of meetings today at the National Energy Efficiency Forum in Los Angeles. The event is sponsored by the National Association of Counties.
County Executive Dan Onorato and Sustainability Manager Jeaneen Zappa joined other county leaders from across the nation to discuss energy efficiency and renewable energy as well as strategies for energy management.
Zappa says they discussed how Allegheny County used an $8.1 million federal grant.....
"We've evaluated our buildings and split it into 2 phases and now were implementing energy efficiency measures and water saving measures at the jail and the Kane Regional facilities (nursing homes). We'll move into other buildings in phase 2 as soon as we get that approved."

Zappa says they set aside $2.1 million to help all communities in Allegheny County to conduct an energy audit of their primary municipal building and 104 of them took the county up on its offer. She said people were excited that the county used some of the grant for its own buildings and a portion to help the region.

Zappa says she's heard a lot of innovative ideas. She says the county hopes to create a fund to help retrofit homes and commercial buildings to save energy.

In phase 1 of the retrofits at the jail and the Kane facilities, they anticipate an annual savings of $2 million in energy costs. Zappa says if those savings are not realized, the contract will owe the county money. She says the whole project will be paid back through savings in a little more than 6 and a half years.

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