Athens Completes First Phase of Efficiency Upgrades
The Perfection Group, a corporation that heads up energy efficiency construction, announced Monday at the Athens City Committee Meeting that its partnership with Athens is almost 98 percent completed with Phase 1 of the energy initiative.
The Athens Community Center, City Hall, Code Office and Parking Garage all received “green” updates that included lighting, new air conditioning and heating units, windows and fans.
Assistant Service-Safety Director Ron Lucas kicked off the project in 2010. He said the four buildings were strategically chosen by the city.
“We wanted to do something initially with buildings that have regular business hours or 24/7 operations,” said Lucas. “They also had to be viewable to the public eye, see a lot of traffic and not require major renovations to become overall energy efficient.”
The project cost $425,000. Most of the funding, about $300,000, came from local loans with low interest rates.
The Perfection Group estimates an eight and a half year payback, as the new upgrades will save the city more money in the near future. The corporation offers financial reports of savings to Athens every six months.
In addition to the pay back return, American Electric Power also financially contributes to any city willing to take a step forward in the “green” movement.
Lucas planned the timeline with Perfection to take advantage of AEP’s incentive.
“AEP offers a rebate program incentive and our project met those rebates returning almost $17,000 back. That money goes directly to pay back our loans.”
The AEP program is known as the T12 Fluorescent Lighting Phase Out and concentrates on the elimination of T12 lamps and bulbs. The T12 system must then be replaced by a greener and more energy efficient T8 or T5 system which also have “better light quality, longer life, lower maintenance cost and quieter operation,” according to AEP.
As part of Perfection Group’s Phase 1, all four buildings received major light renovations and replacements.
Lucas said light replacement is something the city will be looking to do more of in the future.
“Lighting is the cheapest way to conserve energy and generates the most immediate return of your investment,” said Lucas. “You can save money a lot quicker … pay off is in a year or two.”
Athens \plans to put a huge emphasis on lighting efficiency in the future. The city plans to enter into Phase 2 although it has not decided whether to contract internal staff or the Perfection Group.
“The pros of perfection are that Phase 2 will be done quicker and there will be an immediate return. However, it costs much more if we don’t take out a loan,” said Lucas. “The pro of internal staff is the lower price but the con is that we may be taking away employees away from their work.”
Lucas said the city council should reach an agreement before the AEP incentive program expires in July.Share