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Cities and Counties have the never-ending responsibility of providing utilities and services to their residents. Providing utilities such as water treatment and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, and storm water collection and treatment require intricate facilities and infrastructure assets. Similarly, extensive facilities and offices are necessary to provide services such as fire and police protection, courts, detention facilities, social services, recreation, among others. Although the nature of the facilities involved in these two areas vary widely and are largely different, their commonality is the large quantity of electricity used.

An organization's large number of facilities and accounts and the volume of information associated with them can often deter their proper energy management. The methodology used in this case study to prioritize and focus efforts on representative facilities allowed for this broadly scoped project to be completed within budget and schedule while attaining the goals.

Montgomery County, Ohio is an organization that strives to properly manage and reduce energy costs. Two departments within the Montgomery County organization, the Public Works Department (PWD) and Sanitary Engineering Department (SED), spend over 3.5M on electricity annually combined. The County desired to develop an electricity procurement and energy reduction strategy with the goal of reducing energy costs while establishing a good position with the local electric utility to procure electricity.

Malcolm Pirnie, Inc. and Montgomery County (County) worked together to achieve the County's goals by developing the Montgomery County Energy Management Plan (Plan). The Plan involved developing an energy management and procurement strategy by evaluating the electricity procurement and usage activities for both departments as well as performing on-site energy assessments at many of the County's facilities.

An Energy Management Team comprised of a cross section of County personnel from both PWD and SED was organized. A workshop was held for the Team to present the basics of energy management to encourage the Team to identify and discuss energy conservation and management opportunities.

An electricity procurement evaluation of a number of County accounts was conducted. Many of the electricity accounts evaluated are on the optimal tariffs for the respective facility's operations. However, it was determined that four accounts can realize lower energy costs by switching to a different tariff.

Energy assessments were conducted at ten facilities, five in each Department. The Plan identifies 70 Energy Management Opportunities (EMOs) for the County to consider implementing. Over 260,000 of estimated savings with an average simple payback period of less than two-years has been approximated for five of the 70 EMOs. If all 70 EMOs were implemented in both PWD and SED, it is estimated, based on experience with similar facilities, that the County could save a potential 10 to 15% of total energy costs, or approximately 350,000 to 525,000 annually.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2002

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