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News Apr 6, 2012 - 5:02 AM

Energy monitoring system to reduce energy use at state buildings

By Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)

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A new monitoring system will allow facilities managers at up to 100 state buildings to achieve cost savings by identifying and addressing inefficiencies in energy use associated with building operations. Installation of the EfficiencySmart Insight service from EnerNOC, will give state facilities managers and EnerNOC technical advisors access to real-time energy data – allowing for specific and timely actions to reduce energy consumption.

The new system will detect, for example, if lights are left on overnight, if building temperatures are too high or low, or if HVAC units are kept running over the weekend in unoccupied facilities. In this way, the system will inform decisions on equipment upgrades or changes in occupant behavior that will reduce energy use and reduce operating costs for the state.

The monitoring system is being installed as part of a new state program, called Lead by Example, a partnership between the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Department of Administrative Services (DAS). Lead by Example demonstrates the economic benefits of energy efficiency by achieving energy savings in state buildings.

“The state of Connecticut spends more than $100 million a year to provide heating, cooling, and electricity for its buildings,” said DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty. “Lead by Example will help us bring that bill down – providing real savings for taxpayers, reducing the environmental footprint of state government, and proving to municipalities, businesses and property owners that energy efficiency is a sound investment.”

“Knowing more about the state’s energy consumption provides a very real opportunity to better manage our facilities, achieve efficiencies, and save money,” said DAS Commissioner Donald DeFronzo. “In this time of tight budgets, we need to do more with less and this new system will help us do just that.”

Background on Lead by Example

DEEP and DAS jointly administer Lead by Example, offering funding and technical assistance to state agencies interested in lowering their energy consumption through energy efficiency upgrades. The Lead by Example team meets regularly to thoroughly review all applications for funding and to approve the most promising and impactful projects.

Energy efficiency projects at 24 state facilities have already been approved for funding through the program. The first two projects are already underway – an HVAC replacement at Willard-Cybulski Correctional Institute in Enfield and a lighting system upgrade at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic that will save a combined $136,061 annually in energy costs. The upgrades are projected to collectively pay for themselves and begin returning money to taxpayers within a five year period.

Lead by Example is also 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.

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