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Media Advisory
April Odom


Today, the City of Birmingham unveiled a new energy cost savings project that will save the City over $55 million dollars in energy costs that will be redirected to city facilities upgrades and maintenance.

“We know that we have many facilities needs like roofs and HVAC systems that must be replaced. This plan gives us a way to fund these projects while being more environmentally sound and energy efficient,” said Mayor William Bell.

In April 2014, the City of Birmingham released a Request for Proposal (RFP) to have an energy audit performed on all city-owned and occupied buildings. The result of the audit would be a capital improvement plan to improve energy usage by the City of Birmingham paid for through energy savings guaranteed by the vendor. In July 2014, Trane, Inc. was selected for the work.

Trane, Inc. was tasked with achieving energy savings of at least 20% each year. The work Trane, Inc. has recommended will achieve that goal.

“Trane audited 120 city-owned and occupied buildings to determine what changes could be made to make the buildings more energy efficient and save the City of Birmingham money in its utility bills,” said Sherri Nielson, Executive Assistant, Capital and Special Projects.

Trane, Inc. will present two options for consideration:

The first option will guarantee the City of Birmingham approximately $53 million in energy savings over a 20-year period and pay for all of the improvements recommended by Trane, Inc.  This plan includes:

  • lighting upgrades in 116 buildings;
  • water upgrades in 118 buildings;
  • building envelope improvements for 59 buildings;
  • transformer upgrades for 12 buildings;
  • plug load management systems for 16 buildings;
  • energy controls for 107 buildings;
  • 40 HVAC/Mechanical upgrades; and,
  • 17 new roofs.

Projects Price = $55.467M Energy savings over 20 years =$56M

“All costs involved with these improvements will be paid for through guaranteed energy savings. If the savings projected by Trane, Inc. are not realized, Trane, Inc. will have to pay the City of Birmingham the difference,” continued Ms. Nielson.

The second option will include all of the items in Option One but will require a front-end payment by the City of Birmingham of $4 million to include other work needed as recommended by Trane, Inc. In addition to the items listed above, the city-owned buildings will also fund:

  • 3 additional HVAC/Mechanical upgrades; and,
  • 12 additional roofs.

Projects Price = $60.168M City Capital Contribution = $4.1M Energy savings over 20 years = $56M

“These repairs are desperately needed and the city traditionally handles these improvements on an emergency basis instead of having a comprehensive strategy for regular improvements and upgrades. Both options allow us to have a plan and funding to implement it,” said the Mayor.

Both options include the service costs over the 20-year period as provided by Trane, Inc. Trane, Inc. will also serve as the contractor on all of the work performed on the city-owned buildings.

In addition, Trane, Inc. will work with Lawson State Community College on a job-training program to train people to perform the work necessary to achieve the energy savings.