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July 22. 2012 8:49PM

Upgrades help Dover save money on utilities

DOVER — Despite the recent heat wave, the ice arena is leading the way in savings as part of a city-wide energy performance contract that officials say could save more than $3.6 million over the next decade.

As a result of recent upgrades, the city saved $257,307 in energy expenses through April and is well on its way to meeting the projected savings of $319,463 for the fiscal year, according to a report by Johnson Controls Inc., which has a 10-year energy performance contract with Dover.

The results are from Johnson Controls’ findings from Feb. 1 to April 30.

“The savings are reflected in the budget, in paying the bond cost for the improvements as well as lower electricity costs for the city,” Christopher Parker, director of planning and community development, said in an e-mail.

According to the report, the city expects to save a total of $319,463 annually, including $271,943 in energy costs, $13,680 in operations and maintenance costs and $33,840 in capital cost avoidance. Additionally, the city is expected to save $3,623,746 in the next decade, according to the report.

“The most efficient improvement the City has made are the upgrades to the Ice Arena,” Parker said in an e-mail.

Additionally, Parker said the city replaced lighting fixtures, upgraded toilets, replaced air conditioning units and many other elements

The goals of the contract are to cut energy costs, provide capital upgrades, increase the energy efficiency and reliability of the city’s mechanical and electrical systems, and to maintain or increase occupant comfort and well-being, according to a release from the city.

As a result of a 2009 energy audit by Johnson Controls, the city made 15 improvements including weatherizing, insulating, installing energy efficient lighting and monitoring water use to municipal facilities such as City Hall, the McConnell Center and the Dover Ice Arena. In the first three quarters of the study, the city saved $10,898 in water and sewer expenses, $83,704 in electrical costs and $147,054 in heating, according to the report.

jquinn@newstote.com


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