Commissioners place spotlight on energy: study to make county buildings energy-efficient

RIDGWAY - County officials discussed the possibility of saving over $40,000 a year by making county buildings more energy-efficient during a Tuesday morning board of commissioners meeting."We started on this over a year ago and we're working under the umbrella of the Department of General Services out of Harrisburg on an energy update project," said Jodi Foster, community and economic development coordinator for the county's planning department. "We want to make the county buildings as energy-efficient as we can under the GESA Act, the Guaranteed Energy Savings Act. "It basically says that any of the upgrades we do, they will pay for the upgrades. The step that we're at now is the investment grade audit, basically analyzing our energy usage and making recommendations based on their findings and what we can do to upgrade the buildings to make them more energy-efficient."The reported savings could be as much as $43,000 on a yearly basis with a fluctuation allowance of 10 percent more or 10 percent less."It's based on a very preliminary examination of our buildings," Foster said. "This audit will get down and dirty, and show us what our needs are and what they feel the best equipment upgrades will be to get the most bang for our buck. This audit is extremely important and will really spell out what our project will consist of in terms of equipment and energy efficiency upgrades."