Several cities are involved in retrofitting old buildings and infrastructure to make them more energy efficient. East Rockaway, N.Y., was involved in several types of retrofitting by partnering with Johnson Controls, a company operating in more than 150 countries that works at energy efficiency over the lifespan of buildings.
Last spring East Rockaway upgraded 745 light fixtures to lower wattage LED lights. Additionally, they worked on seven municipal buildings, including sealing roof and wall joints; installing door weather stripping, plus pipe and valve insulation; retrofitting lamps, ballasts and occupancy sensors for interior lighting; and installing energy-saving programmable thermostats. The infrastructure improvements are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an amount equivalent to 700 barrels of oil consumption per year.
“By partnering with Johnson Controls, the village of East Rockaway is guaranteed to save more than $2 million over the 18-year term of the energy performance contract, the result of improvements we are making to our building envelope and infrastructure,” said Mayor Bruno Romano. “I am excited to report that all the projects included in the contract are funded without cost to our taxpayers by the energy savings they achieve — savings that are helping the village lay a firm foundation for the future and meet our sustainability goals.”
Johnson Controls conducted the initial energy audit for work covered by the energy performance contract and is currently managing the various energy-saving projects. In addition to savings earned through the energy performance contract, the village will receive a $32,000 rebate award for energy-efficient lighting and lighting controls from PSEG Long Island.
Belchertown, Mass., used bonds to pay for the installation of roughly $3.3 million worth of energy upgrades for town and school buildings in 2011, working with Siemens Industry Inc. The energy services company predicted that the upgrades will save the town $256,000 annually for a period of 17 years. These savings are based on fuel and electricity prices for 2010. The comprehensive energy management services project was to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent in the municipal buildings retrofitted: about seven school-related and eight other municipal buildings total. Jill Panto, town accountant, said, “The assessment is not yet available, but we are certain that we are seeing savings in energy usage.”
Better lighting with reduced energy is part of two projects for the town of Hempstead, N.Y. The town’s 50,000 streetlights have been retrofitted with LED fixtures. They are paying $17.7 million and plan to have a total net utility and operational savings of $43.1 million after factoring in all costs over a 20-year period. Private sector partner Facility Solutions Group is working with Hempstead work crews to replace the lights.
“Supervisor Anthony J. Santino has put together a trifecta in this streetlamp conversion project,” said Councilman D’Esposito. “The initiative saves taxpayer dollars, conserves energy and diminishes the town’s maintenance effort on the part of town workers due to the extensive lifespan of LED elements.”
Santino observed the new fixtures are 50 percent more efficient than those that are being replaced. As a result, less greenhouse gases are created in producing energy to power LED lamps. Further, the LED units have a lifespan that is approximately 400 percent greater than high pressure sodium lamps, reducing the emissions that would be expended to manufacture replacement bulbs. Finally, a reduced carbon footprint by town vehicles and equipment will result from having to send out fewer crews for repair and maintenance calls, based upon LED’s longer lifespan.
Given the success of the outdoor streetlight project in Hempstead, Santino said he intended to begin a project to retrofit indoor lighting in municipal buildings as well. The first phase of the supervisor’s indoor lighting conversion will witness 4,000 lamps being replaced at four town buildings — Old Town Hall, New Town Hall, The Receiver of Taxes Offices and a town office building in Merrick. Savings of $200,000 over 10 years will occur at these facilities. Additional phases will offer further savings at other town buildings.