When municipal and county governments need significant facility and infrastructure updates, but don’t have the funds available, they must identify new and creative ways to cut costs.
For example, Turner County, Georgia, needed to control expenses and upgrade its facilities and infrastructure to ensure its residents receive vital services. They began by analyzing the county’s energy and operational costs.
After attending the Association of County Governments in Georgia Conference, Turner County officials began speaking with ABM about its Energy Performance Contracting program. Those conversations helped county officials realize they could create energy savings and reduce costs by eliminating wasted energy and operations expenses while using the savings to upgrade the existing facilities’ systems.
Investing to Save
By beginning with an energy audit, local governments can take a closer look at their current energy and operation expenses. Often, a facility’s aging infrastructure can lead to inflated energy consumption and operational costs.
Turner County and ABM conducted a comprehensive energy audit prior to making the upgrades. From the results of the audit, the county determined it should implement lighting, HVAC and control upgrades, and take water conservation measures at each of its six facilities.
Additional potential energy savingsrelated to upgrading each county facility’s ventilation, such as sealing building envelopes and resealing windows, were identified during the audit. These improvements help to control humidity as well as enhance employee and occupant comfort.
At each facility, existing lighting systems were retrofitted to energy-efficient LED systems. HVAC units were replaced or retrofitted by state-of-the-art HVAC controlsto help county officials maximize energy and operational efficiency.
Enhancing Services with Savings
Upgrading building systems to more energy-efficient equipment creates substantial savings, which can be repurposed to make other infrastructure improvements. These improvements help enhance services and can also help governments realize more savings while easing burdens on existing budgets.
Turner County officials decided to leverage the projected energy and operational savings to enhance its ability to provide residents with essential governmental services.
The upgrades are providing Turner County with long-term energy and operational savings and capital avoidance by reducing wasteful energy-related expenses. But it also provided Turner County with an impactful, long-term investment in the county’s infrastructure and service.
The county is building a new 2,800-square-foot addition to the Turner County Government Annex Building to allow for the consolidation of government services into one facility. It will provide residents with a convenient central service hub, while cutting costs. The existing Annex is also receiving a new roof as part of the Energy Performance Contracting program.
County officials also replaced outdated, unreliable internet and phone connections with fiber-optic communication lines at the Emergency Response Center, which hosts the county’s 911 services. This provides residents with more reliable connections to immediately reach first responders while improving the county’s phone and internet services.
Municipal and county governments need to analyze their spending to see if there are opportunities to save, without sacrificing important services. Turner County officials proactively examined the county’s spending and were able to pinpoint and address wasted spending effectively.
The customized Energy Performance Contracting Program Turner County selected is providing savings and enhancements throughout the county, without upfront costs. The program is projected to save the county $7.2 million in energy and operational costs over a 15-year period.
Through the Energy Performance Contracting Program and ongoing preventive maintenance of the new facility equipment, Turner County officials will be able to realize these savings, while benefitting from enhanced infrastructure, for years to come.