Energy upgrade in Pennsylvania county yields a variety of benefits
Officials in Wyoming County, Pa., manage dozens of courtrooms and administrative offices. When the county started experiencing significantly higher utility costs—often double the cost per square foot of similar facilities in neighboring Columbia County—the county’s managers needed to find a way to cut costs without imposing a tax increase on its 28,000 residents.
In 2011, Columbia County, Pa., implemented ABM’s Bundled Energy Solutions (BES) program to save $4.9 million in energy and operating costs over a 15-year, guaranteed contract. The success of the project encouraged Wyoming County to improve its energy efficiency with its own customized program for key public buildings. Through the program, Wyoming County improved the comfort, functionality and sustainability of its public buildings while cutting energy and operating costs.
Wyoming County’s energy-efficiency improvements include upgrading heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems as well as integrating building automation and computer management systems at the courthouse.
The county is improving the energy efficiency of the prison and 911 call center by installing advanced HVAC systems with high efficiency boilers. Updated building automation systems also are being installed to regulate energy usage. The program will also convert pre-existing systems to use cost-effective propane gas.
The improvements will lower Wyoming County’s utility costs by an average of 33 percent, including a 49 percent savings in utility costs for the county’s courthouse. The upgrade is expected to save at least $3.9 million in energy and operating costs over the next 15 years. The Wyoming County project will be fully completed in spring 2016 when county facility managers start up the chiller that ties into county buildings.
“The partnering of Wyoming County and ABM will greatly benefit the constituents of Wyoming County. Not only can we implement these much needed improvements without a tax increase, but ABM guarantees the results and future performance of the county’s facilities,” says Tom Henry, chairman of Wyoming County Commissioners.
In addition to the $3.9 million in energy and operating costs, the program is expected to generate an additional $1 million in general fund relief for Wyoming County over the next 20 years. The ABM program is designed as a financial solution to meet facility needs and sustainability goals.