Energy efficiency pilot returns better savings than predicted
Thursday, December 13, 2012
In 2010, the City of Colorado Springs received a $3,666,100 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The City partnered with Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) to use a portion of the funds piloting a program to provideauditing and retrofits in collaboration with higher education institution students. The program offered participants an opportunity to have a free energy audit and report, with financial support for retrofits through CSU rebates and ARRA funds. Students worked with Farnsworth Group – a local provider of professional grade commercial audits. Buildings varied by structure and style, including offices, schools and an apartment complex, to provide the students with a range of learning opportunities.
Of the 15 participants audited, nine went on to finance improvements. Those nine averaged a 2.5-year estimated payback on their investment and collectively saved 206,000 kWh of electricity and 15 ,600 therms of natural gas. In a year-to-year comparison, the actual savings are better than had been predicted at 6 percent for electricity use and 15 percent for gas use, which translates into about $30,000 in cumulative annual savings back to participants’ bottom lines.