city hall.jpgCross-posted from GROOVY GREEN:

The Post-Standard in Syracuse ran a front-page article today reporting that investment in energy efficient measures throughout the city and in city hall will reduce energy costs over $1 million per year. The article reports that there was a $2 million initial commitment by the city in upgrades, but that over $537,000 was refunded by a NYSDERA program for changing traffic lights to LED from incandescent. Another large portion of the investment was in replacing city hall's windows with high energy efficient double paned windows, which combined with other improvements to the heating and cooling is projected to save the city $300,000 to $350,000 per year.

This program shows that municipalities can obtain significant savings in energy bills through initial investments in environmentally friendly practices and materials. If the math on this program is correct, a $1.5 million dollar investment (after rebates) will save the city $1 million dollars per year as a conservative estimate. A one and a half year ROI? It's a no-brainer.

More specifics on the programs below the fold and link to article HERE.

Syracuse is among 84 cities worldwide to sign the Urban Environmental Accords, a set of environmental guidelines for the world's cities endorsed by the United Nations.

By signing, Driscoll committed the city to completing 21 specific actions in seven areas by 2012.

So far, the city has started or completed 12 of the 21 actions to become greener, said Paul Thompson, Syracuse's energy coordinator.


A $543,000 project to install a new computer-controlled energy management system and water-cooled chiller in City Hall. The Carrier Corp. chiller replaced two cooling units from 1978.

When complete this spring, the move is expected to save the city 15 to 20 percent on its cooling bill in the warm-weather months, Thompson said.

A new energy management system installed at City Hall will eventually reduce energy costs by up to 15 percent at about a half-dozen city properties.


A $155,000 project to replace all of the windows in City Hall. The new double-paned, insulated windows contain argon, a colorless, odorless gas that reduces heat loss.

A $1.2 million project to make traffic lights more energy-efficient. The city replaced traditional bulbs with 10,057 light-emitting-diode, or LED lights at 354 intersections.

The new, brighter lights are safer for motorists and pedestrians, and reduced energy costs by about 90 percent. The project, which started in 2003, saves the city about $223,762 a year in energy and labor costs, Thompson said.
These investments will boost Syracuse's standing as a progressive community:
As an added benefit, the effort may raise Syracuse's profile nationally as a progressive community.

Parin Shah, director of Generation Earth, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that partnered with the U.N. to help implement the accords, said word quickly spreads globally of cities and their innovative environmental practices.

"It is perceived that Syracuse is a better place to live and is sort of at the cutting edge," Shah said.
I think that it is a great example for other small cities across the nation, as not only a way to look towards the future, but as a way to be fiscally responsible, which should be appealing to members of all political parties.
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