The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Following passage of authorizing legislation by Toledo City Council, the Mayor Mike Bell administration and the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority are beginning work on an ambitious program to develop energy efficient upgrades to 40 city-owned facilities.

In East Toledo, Collins Park Water Treatment Plant and Fire Stations 6 and 13 will receive combinations of lighting replacements and upgrades, insulation upgrades, HVAC replacement and upgrades, HE boiler and hot water heater, and window replacement.

Since 2011, the City of Toledo and the port authority have worked to conduct energy audits of 40 city-owned facilities, including 19 fire and three police buildings, community and senior centers and key utility and transportation facilities. Eligible facilities will be retrofitted with high-efficiency lighting, heating and cooling system, roofing and windows to reduce energy consumption in buildings and thereby reduce costs to operate the facilities.

Total project costs are estimated at $5.8 million over 15 years with a total energy savings of approximately $8.4 million for the city. Work on the city facilities is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.

“The BetterBuildings Northwest Ohio program will enable us to continue a normal maintenance schedule of our capital assets, but to incorporate more energy efficient features,” said Mayor Bell.  “As we continue to look for ways to save taxpayer dollars in operating the city, this is one long-term cost-savings we can apply to multiple facilities to keep them in good repair, maintain ongoing use for the community and operate more efficiently.”

The city is not the only beneficiary of the program. Through BetterBuildings, owners of virtually every type of building are eligible for low-cost financing to pay for high-efficiency improvements to their facilities and building systems. The goal is to make cost-effective energy practices and technology more accessible to individuals, businesses and governmental entities across Northwest Ohio while helping transform the way whole communities use energy. To be eligible, projects must be energy efficient retrofits to an existing building.

“Northwest Ohio is breaking new ground with the schedule of projects funded by BetterBuildings Northwest Ohio,” said Paul Toth, president and CEO of the port authority.  “This is the first energy improvement district to be fully operational in Ohio and one of only 25 across the nation.”

BetterBuildings Northwest Ohio (BBNWO) was made possible thanks to a $15 million start-up grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.  It was two years ago this month that Bell and Toth traveled to the White House to accept the funding at a press conference with Vice President Joe Biden.

Multiple city facilities are currently undergoing construction maintenance to incorporate new energy efficient features. Building owners interested in applying for funding through BetterBuildings Northwest Ohio can find more information about eligibility on the port authority’s website at www.toledoportauthority.com or by contacting the BBNWO office at 419-720-1102.

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