Energy Efficiency Project Could Save Colorado Taxpayers $20 Million
Completed by Chevron Energy Solutions, a unit of Chevron Corp., the comprehensive project is expected to reduce energy costs at the facilities by 25 to 30 percent, saving Colorado taxpayers $924,000 annually and more than $20 million over the next two decades.
The upgrades also will reduce the facilities’ demand for energy from local utilities, for an estimated reduction of approximately 8,000 metric tons in utility carbon-dioxide emissions–equivalent to removing 1,500 cars from the road.
The $13.6 million project, coordinated through the state’s Department of Personnel and Administration, began in 2003 and is funded entirely by the energy savings generated by the efficiency improvements.
Under the project, Chevron Energy Solutions completed extensive renovations to 16 buildings in Denver, three in Lakewood and one in Grand Junction. The improvements include upgrading lighting systems; replacing boilers, chillers and piping (some dating to the 1920s); and installing new energy-management systems.
In addition to the annual energy savings, the state’s building operations are benefiting from improved interior lighting quality and comfort, reduced maintenance needs and removal of abandoned equipment and asbestos in some locations. A small portion of the energy savings also is funding the installation of a 10-kw. photovoltaic solar system at the governor’s residence.
“These upgrades demonstrate that it’s possible to achieve major cost savings through high-efficiency equipment, while incorporating sustainable building materials and efficient design improvements,” says Lance Shepherd, project manager, Office of the State Architect.
As a result of the improvements, three of the buildings have been certified by the United States Green Building Council through its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design–Existing Building (LEED–EB) program for adopting a rigorous set of sustainability standards that will significantly reduce the facilities’ impact on the environment.
The buildings–the State Services Building, Human Services Building and Judicial Heritage Complex, all located in the Colorado Capitol Complex in Denver–are the only government facilities in Colorado to have achieved this distinction.