Council Delays Energy Cost Savings Project To Allow For Upgrades to City Facilities
On Monday June 13th, during the City Council’s Budget and Finance meeting, the Mayor’s Office again asked for the City Council to support for 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. That plan was delayed without further action.
“We know that our facilities desperately need basic improvements like roofs and HVAC systems. Items 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. The Council has been informed at each step of the process.
“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.
This plan includes:
The Energy Performance Contracting Project scope includes:
- Lighting upgrades in (117) buildings
- Water upgrades in (119) buildings
- Building envelope improvements for (59) buildings
- Transformer upgrades for (12) buildings
- Plug load management systems for (16) buildings
- Energy and HVAC controls for (108) buildings
- HVAC/Mechanical upgrades in (45) buildings
- Roof Replacements in (31) buildings
“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.
Projects Price = $60.2 Million Energy savings over 20 years = $78.2 Million (Guaranteed) Energy and Operational Savings Over 20 Years = $100.2 Million
“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.
The plan includes 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. “Our hope is that the City Council will work with us to help our neighborhoods,” said the Mayor.