City looks to lighten energy load

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Following up on its springtime success in converting City Hall from fluorescent lights and old-style lightbulbs both inside and out to LED lighting, Greencastle is planning to do the same at its water plant, wastewater plant and parks property, the Board of Works approved Wednesday.

The board gave unanimous approval to a project that will spend $38,734 to replace the Park Department security lighting, water plant lighting, water plant garage lighting and wastewater treatment plant lighting in a project conducted by Energy Harness, the company that not only did the City Hall work last spring but which has completed projects at Putnam County Hospital and area schools.

The latest city replacements are expected to result in a $10,983 rebate from Duke Energy, Mayor Bill Dory’s calculations showed, ultimately resulting in a net project cost of $27,751.

Individually, the project costs are estimated at:

-- $3,491 for the Parks Department with a rebate of $324.

-- $13,072 for the water plant with a rebate of $3,050.

-- $4,512 for the water plant garage with a rebate of $3,260.

-- $17,657 for the wastewater treatment plant with a rebate of $4,349.

The payback period of those projects costs are estimated at 13 months for the water plant garage project, 42 months for the wastewater plant work, 44 months for the water plant project and 47 months for the park work.

A proposal to replace lighting at the pool and pool house as part of the project was dropped due to an extended payback period of approximately 145 months since the pool is only open three months a year anyway.

The project will be funded partially by EDIT funds and some capital projects funds since water and sewer projects must come out of those respective budgets.

Approval of the project came after a motion by Trudy Selvia and a second from Craig Tuggle. Mayor Dory’s vote made it unanimous.

Last spring’s energy-efficiency effort at City Hall saw nearly 350 fluorescent and old-style lightbulbs replaced with LED lights both inside and out. The program proved to be more than just a financial savings for the city, but a visual benefit as well for the actual quality of the light at City Hall is now “closer to daylight without the fluorescent flicker or hum,” Mayor Dory said.

The City Hall project cost was $11,456.90 with a rebate of $4,152.50 from Duke Energy helping offset the expense with the city expected to see a payback on its $11,456.90 City Hall investment “in a little over two years.”

The new bulbs are guaranteed for five years, Dory said, and are expected to last 10 or more years.

As an added benefit, the reduced power consumption should provide an estimated reduction of CO2 emissions of 66,000 pounds per year, the mayor noted.

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