Funding Approved for Project Aimed at Saving Town 20 Percent in Energy Costs
The project incudes over $7 million worth of projects, but the changes will save that much and more in electric and natural gas costs.
The Town Council approved borrowing $7.3 million to pay for projects to make Watertown's town and school buildings more energy efficient, but the firm doing the work guarantees the town will get at least that amount back in savings on utility bills.
The project will be completed by Johnson Controls and includes 97 projects on 14 buildings around Watetown, said Beth Greenblatt of Beacon Integrated Solutions, the town's consultant.
Energy savings will come in a variety of ways, including:
- All buildings will be weatherized to save on heating and cooling
- 12 buildings will have lights retrofitted to be more energy efficient
- 10 will have temperature controls installed
- Insulation will be installed on heating pipes in 10 building
Construction will take about 18 months, Greenblatt said.
The town will borrow the money for 20 years, and over that time the projects will provide enough savings to cover the cost of the project and borrowing the money, Greenblatt told the Town Council.
"During the project, the operational savings (from lower utility bills) will be used to pay down the debt," Greenblatt said.
The savings is guaranteed, said Town Manager Michael Driscoll.
"If the savings do not materialize, Johnson Controls will make up the difference or come up with a solution," Driscoll said.
The project started when the Town Council set out to reduce energy costs by 20 percent over the next five years, Driscoll said.
According to the proposal, Greenblatt said that Watertown will save more than 20 percent. Savings are predicted to be 22 percent for electricity and 32 percent savings on natural gas costs.
That pleased Town Councilor Vincent Piccirilli.
"We were seeking a savings of 20 percent and it is more than expected," Piccirilli said.
Approval of funding for the project was applauded by Ken Mirvis, chairman of the Watertown Envirionment and Energy Efficiency Committee.
"I am delighted to see we are moving forward with the project," Mirvis said. "It is a wonderful investment."