Monday, January 25, 2010

Clayton County Launches Infrastructure Upgrades Expected to Save Nearly $575,000 Annually

/PRNewswire/ -- Clayton County will soon undertake infrastructure upgrades to its buildings anticipated to improve its annual budget by nearly $575,000.

The county expects the renovations to save $361,000 in annual utility costs and to generate $213,000 in annual carbon credit revenues. The energy-saving plan offers the added benefits of improving the comfort and productivity of county employees and reducing the county's environmental impact. The upgrades are scheduled for seven county facilities and the county landfill.

Clayton County will formally launch the infrastructure upgrades with a ceremony and reception on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 4 p.m. in the board room at the Clayton County Board of Commissioners office, located at 112 Smith St., in Jonesboro, Ga. 30236.

The ceremony will feature members of the Clayton County Board of Commissioners, including Eldrin Bell, chairman, and two Trane representatives. Local community leaders will also be invited to the event.

The $5.5 million in renovations will be funded with a performance contract, a model that allows counties and other building owners to use future energy and operational savings to finance infrastructure improvement projects.

A performance contract is an option for funding energy-saving improvements in buildings that provides measurable business results. By managing and optimizing energy use, counties can leverage operational savings to support strategic business objectives.

"We're excited about implementing these new energy efficient upgrades in our county buildings that will also improve the working conditions for county employees," said Eldrin Bell, chairman of the Clayton County Board of Commissioners. "We're especially pleased that we'll be able to pay for the upgrades through energy and operational savings."

Energy-Saving Upgrades Meet County Needs

Prior to selecting specific energy conservation measures, officials completed a formal audit of county buildings to identify installations that would best meet the county's needs. In particular, the county wanted to address inadequate cooling at the Department of Family and Children Services complex, temperature control issues at the County Archives building, urgent piping issues at the Annex III building and collection of methane gas at the landfill.

Renovations to address these pressing needs will include replacing or redesigning heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to increase temperature control, reduce energy consumption and decrease operating costs at the Department of Family and Children Services complex, Annex III, the County Archives building, the justice complex and the Clayton Center behavioral health buildings.

County officials will also install a methane collection system at the landfill to meet forthcoming Environmental Protection Agency mandates. The collection system will enable the county to capture carbon credits as a revenue stream.

Officials will replace nearly 12,500 light fixtures with high-efficiency lighting technology throughout seven buildings. The new fixtures will enhance lighting and reduce related expenses. Additionally, the county will install motion sensors in critical areas of six buildings. The areas include lobbies, kitchen/dining areas, conference rooms, offices and warehouse areas. The motion sensors switch lights off in unused rooms to extend the life of fixtures and bulbs while lowering energy consumption.

The county will replace plumbing fixtures in the County Archives building with high-efficiency devices to decrease water use. Other upgrades will include installing automation systems in six buildings to centralize control and provide remote access.

Outdated building automation systems will be replaced with high-efficiency systems at the Department of Family and Children Services complex, Annex III, the Headquarters Library on Battle Creek Road, the County Archives building and at the Clayton Center buildings. The control system at the justice complex will be updated to work with the new design of the central chilled water plant.

The county will also retrofit the library's main entry to minimize air infiltration and the loss of conditioned air. To reduce the unit cost for electricity and to leverage the current rate structure, the county will consolidate electricity meters within the justice complex and the Lundquist Aquatics buildings.

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