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Feb 14, 2012

Connecticut Kicks Off Energy Efficiency Program with Projects at Eastern

Connecticut taxpayers will save $136,061 annually thanks to a lighting system upgrade at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Connecticut taxpayers will save $136,061 annually thanks to a lighting system upgrade at Eastern Connecticut State University (Eastern) in Willimantic and the replacement of rooftop HVAC units at Willard-Cybulski Correctional Institute in Enfield—the first projects to be funded by Governor Malloy’s Lead by Example (LBE) state building energy efficiency program. Administered jointly by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Department of Administrative Services (DAS), Lead by Example offers funding and technical assistance to state agencies interested in lowering their energy consumption through energy efficiency upgrades.

In addition to the energy and cost savings of the projects, Automated Building Systems, Inc, a small business based in Glastonbury, will hire two permanent electricians on staff in order to complete the Eastern project and additional projects thereafter, and this money will be re-invested into the Connecticut economy.

“The Lead by Example program is a first step towards achieving my vision of making Connecticut the most energy efficient state in the nation,” Governor Malloy said. “In order to set the right tone, the state needs to upgrade the condition of its own buildings, which will in turn create jobs, save taxpayer money over time, and shrink the state’s carbon footprint.”

“Since our state government is the largest property owner in Connecticut, this program is an opportunity to literally ‘lead by example,’” says DEEP Commissioner Daniel Esty. “It will prove to businesses and homeowners around the state that energy efficiency is an effective means of driving economic growth while lessening our impact on the environment and improving the quality of life for Connecticut residents.”

Eastern will install a control system at its J. Eugene Smith Library that will allow building occupants greater flexibility over lighting – including occupancy sensors, remote monitoring of lighting, and day-lighting strategies – resulting in a 20 percent reduction in overall electricity consumption onsite. This project will cost $709,818 before incentives.

“ConnSCU institutions comprise approximately 25 percent of our state’s building footprint, so a 20 percent energy reduction onsite at Eastern is a big step in the right direction,” said Interim President of the Board of Regents, Robert A. Kennedy.

“We are excited to have been chosen as a pilot project for the State of Connecticut’s ‘Lead by Example’ program,” said Nancy Tinker, director of facilities management and planning at Eastern. “Our library is open more than 85 hours a week, so strategies such as occupancy sensors, remote monitoring, and taking advantage of daylight will make a big difference in our energy use.”

The Willard-Cybulski correctional institute in Enfield will install 16 high-efficiency rooftop HVAC units at a cost of $150,690. “Our mission of protecting the public includes protecting their tax dollars and being as efficient and economical as possible,” said DOC Commissioner Leo C. Arnone.

Installation of the lighting control system at Eastern and the HVAC units at the Willard-Cybulski correctional institute will be completed by June 30, 2012. The projects cost a combined $860,508 and are expected to return a profit to taxpayers in 6.3 years.

These two projects are the first of 14 currently approved projects to break ground. Of $15 million in bond funding currently available through Lead by Example, this first phase of projects represents a nearly $5 million investment in the state’s construction industry through efficiency work. The upgrades are projected to collectively pay for themselves and begin returning money to taxpayers within a five year period. DEEP and DAS officials, along with representatives from the state’s major utility companies and other state agencies, meet regularly to thoroughly review all applications for funding and to approve the most promising and impactful projects.

In addition to the $15 million in bond funding devoted to efficiency upgrades in state buildings, the program is in the process of creating a standardized Energy Savings Performance Contract for use by state agencies and municipalities. This contract would allow for state agencies and municipalities to implement energy efficiency upgrades at no up-front cost, with payback for the efficiency measures coming from the savings realized on their utility costs.