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Fredericksburg News

Posted on: April 2, 2019

City Saves $1.8 Million by Reducing Energy Use in Buildings


Over a twenty-year period the City of Fredericksburg saved $1,802,805 dollars and produced 25,590,190 lbs less greenhouse gases by reducing electricity and fossil fuel consumption in city government buildings. This environmental stewardship was first implemented in 1996-1997 through energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs), most recently with Siemens Industry. Under the current contract with the city, Siemens Industry is tasked to perform energy audits and pursue measures including retrofitting city buildings with energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling equipment. These investments save energy, reduce maintenance and conserve natural resources while saving taxpayer money and providing healthier building environments. 

“The partnership with Siemens is a great example of how saving money and environmental sustainability are not mutually exclusive,” said City of Fredericksburg Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw. “The energy savings measures taken and those we will continue to take in the future means reduced city operating costs and fewer city greenhouse gas emissions.” 

Similarly, over the last 10 years Fredericksburg City Public Schools have been involved in an aggressive plan to monitor energy consumption and to improve energy efficiency. “The school division entered into agreements with Cenergistic (formerly Energy Education) to monitor consumption, and Ameresco to improve efficiency.” said David Melton, Superintendent of City Schools. “Through our association with Cenergestic, we have been able to sustain a ‘green’ behavior and manage energy costs, which has saved FCPS on utility spending by eliminating waste and by extending equipment life.” 

An ESPC is a partnership between an entity such as a school district or local government and an energy service company (ESCO), like Siemens. The ESCO conducts energy audits and identifies improvements to save energy. For example, one measure is to install building automation systems to reduce energy consumption during building unoccupied times. The ESCO designs and pursues projects and then helps to arrange the necessary financing. They guarantee improvements to generate energy cost savings sufficient to pay for the projects over the term of the contract. After the contract ends, all additional cost savings accrued are gained by the entity (e.g., school district or local government). 

Additionally, through its Clean and Green Commission, the city is also working to identify more ways to reduce the city’s carbon footprint, first by pursuing a greenhouse gas inventory for city operations and second by developing a city sustainability vision. These combined efforts are in alignment with City Council’s stated vision to assure Fredericksburg’s future of a clean, green environment. The city will continue to pursue industry leading efficiency and environmental solutions and looks forward to even more energy savings in the next 20 years and beyond. Read about the Fredericksburg Clean and Green Commission. For more information about the city’s energy savings performance contracts, please contact our Public Works Department.

Information on Clean and Green Commission
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