Inner City: Increasing Energy Conservation

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Recently, J.P. Morgan released a report on improving energy efficiency to reduce the taxpayers’ burden. J.P. Morgan believes that through energy efficient measures, companies and cities can lower the ever-rising taxes. Cities across the country are pushed to do more with less. They must balance quality service to meet demands while simultaneously reducing operating costs and capital investments. Our country has figured out a solution: energy efficiency in buildings, faculties, and services in cities around the nation.

To improve energy usage in cities, we must overcome a few barriers. These roadblocks include:

  • aging facilities and old equipment
  • a lack of necessary funds
  • steadily rising energy costs

Thankfully, municipalities are determined to conserve energy. Municipal officials focus on public building energy efficiency as well as water treatment, traffic lights, and streetlights.

The United States Conference of mayors on clean energy solutions for U.S. cities found that three out of every four cities expects to become more energy efficient in the next five years. The cities state that financial constraints are the biggest challenge at the moment. Mayors have targeted technologies such as LED lighting, low-energy building technology, and solar energy as the top three methods to reduce energy usage. One quarter of cities have already developed set targets for renewable energy sources.

To help with their energy efforts, cities are adopting energy Performance Contracting (ePC). An ePC arrangement offers an initial energy audit, the installation of facility-specific solutions, and long-term monitoring to ensure the project’s success. An effective ePC engagement guarantees that the savings generated will outweigh the project’s cost, reduce utility bill costs, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and improve comfort.

The UMass Medical Center in Worcester, MA reduced their energy usage with the help of a specialized energy Services Company (eSCos) called Noresco. An eSCos provides energy conserving services and performance contracting with guaranteed positive results. The UMass Medical Center was founded in the early 1970s, so the building technology needed an upgrade. UMass Medical took part in a 10-year ePC that covered building structure improvements, ventilation upgrades, water system changes, and lighting system improvements. The $30 million project expects to save $36 in utility and operating expenses in the next 10 years.

Cities across the country are using ePC financing to upgrade their power systems, lower energy costs, reduce their environmental impact, and improve overall efficiency. These programs develop specific financial solutions for each project. Through the financial effectiveness, ePCs can help reduce taxes. Companies and cities will not be spending as much on energy usage, and thus taxpayers will not need to compensate for wasted energy.

If we all upgrade to energy efficiency, the payback will be immense. Not only will we save money and reduce our environmental impact, but we will also live in a more comfortable home within a more comfortable city. The country recognizes the importance of conserving energy, and is finally making strides towards efficiency.