By Victoria K. Sicaras

PROJECT INFO

Name: Retrofit Audit — Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant (EECBG)
Client: Jackson, Wyo., Department of Public Works/City Shops
AEC Firm: Beaudin Ganze Consulting Engineers Inc.
Cost: $25,000
Project delivery method: Design-bid-build
Completed: October 2009

Late last year, Wyoming's Energy Office began offering $18 million in U.S. Department of Energy-appropriated grants to cities, counties, and special districts to make facilities more energy-efficient.

To qualify for this stimulus funding, communities had to identify and document upgrades that would cut energy consumption by 25%.

The Oct. 1 application deadline was just two weeks away when Jackson's public works department contracted Beaudin Ganze Consulting Engineers Inc. (BGCE) to audit several public buildings — including town hall and public works — and streetlights.

After walking the sites to find outdated or inefficient mechanical and electrical systems, reviewing several years' worth of utility bills to compare energy consumption to industry usage standards, and calculating how much replacing or modifying existing systems would save, the firm identified more than 26 possible measures — amounting to $750,000 in estimated construction costs — to save a projected $25,000 in energy costs annually. This amount doesn't include savings from reduced maintenance or replacement of old equipment.

“After determining the savings of each component, we estimated a construction cost for each conservation measure to determine if it was worth implementing,” says BGCE Project Manager Bill Larson.

The town applied for $676,790 and received nearly $451,000 to implement 19 energy-saving measures, including:

  • Replacing old and poorly insulated garage doors and windows in the public works maintenance shops
  • Replacing the town hall's 25-year-old electric furnace
  • Retrofitting all 160 streetlights to LED.
  • After subtracting its 10% match of $50,000, the town expects annual savings of $9,798 for each approved measure with a five-year return on investment.

    The town recently received a second-round EECBG retrofit grant of $79,340 to implement measures at two more buildings, and expects to complete all energy-saving measures by 2011.

    Web Extra

    WHY IT'S COOL: Jackson, Wyo., identified 26 energy-saving measures to upgrade public facilities and streetlights. For a list of the town's first-round EECBG retrofit grant items, click here.