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More Buildings Go Green

Houston’s commitment to energy efficiency continues. It kicked off a multi-million dollar project to retrofit downtown buildings to reduce energy consumption. Pat Hernandez has more.

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Houston is launching what is said to be an ambitious 23-million dollar project designed to improve energy efficiency and operations in a number of city buildings downtown.

Performance contracts, energy conservation measures, or ECMs, are placed into facilities like city hall, the annex and several police buildings. They affect lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, water conservation measures and building management controls.

Gavin Dillingham is chief of Sustainable Growth for the City of  Houston. He says the ECMs are paid for through the guaranteed savings that come from their placement.

“Instead of going to the city’s CIPs, the long term fund for at large infrastructure type projects, we can pay for it through it out of the energy savings there. So that money can either be reallocated to other projects, or can go and cover whatever potential holes the city may have in its budget.”

Shon Anderson is with Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management that will perform the work. He says the city will save almost 2-million dollars a year from retrofitting 19-buildings.

“We’re gonna prevent the emissions of almost six thousand tons of CO2 a year, which is the equivalent of taking about 16-hundred cars off the road.”

Houston’s Public Works has begun a similar performance contract with its waster water treatment plant.

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