In an effort to conserve energy and funds, Montgomery County (NY) is looking to replace equipment that has become outdated in its municipal buildings. The Montgomery County Legislature will move forward with energy management projects after the Budget and Finance Committee meeting Tuesday. Legislators voted on whether to enter into an agreement with National Grid for energy conservation and management services, done through Ballston Lake-based energy efficiency company SmartWatt.
The resolution authorizing Executive Matthew Ossenfort to enter into the agreement puts a $2.5 million cap on the projects. Annually, the county could save about $190,107 with a 15-year financial term, according to SmartWatt. SmartWatt Account Executive Greg Royer said once the legislature accepts the investment grade audit (IGA), which provides technology and financial assessments associated with the energy conservation project, and signs the agreement with National Grid, the company will move forward with construction.
"We go to construction, which is about an eight month duration," Royer said. "Probably the biggest item is to replace the antiquated equipment with energy efficient equipment." Royer said the IGA has pinpointed how the county can reduce energy and water spending. The IGA has looked at equipment in the Public Works building, both courthouses in the Village of Fonda, the county office and annex buildings, and the county jail.
Specific elements of this comprehensive energy efficiency project include replacing the boiler in the old courthouse, installing new domestic hot water in the jail, replacing window air conditioner units, lighting and water fixture upgrades, and overall energy management system upgrades, among several more projects.
"I think another big item is the windows at the courthouse, so we're going to be replacing a large portion of the windows," Royer said. Aged boilers in the courthouses and the 11 Park St. building would be replaced. The new boilers will increase efficiency from 80 percent to over 93 percent, according to information presented Tuesday. Building envelope upgrades will help eliminate outside air infiltration and window replacements will help with temperature regulation.
"We tried to keep the pricing as tight as possible through the process," Royer said. "We went through the list and whittled down what projects made the most sense." SmartWatt Project Director Bill Clark said the county is currently spending about $570,000 in energy costs per year, adding that the county could save $190,107, with the largest savings in electricity with the new improvements. About 32 percent will be saved in electricity, 12 percent in natural gas consumption and 31 percent in water consumption. Royer said the company has been working with the county for about a year already. SmartWatt has already presented a preliminary feasibility assessment and proceeded with the IGA. Once the county accepts the projects and agreement with National Grid, funding will be secured and construction will begin. Royer said after construction is complete, representatives will be available for full training. "From there," he said, "it's just ongoing support. Whatever you need us for, we're here to support you."