Bloomington to Improve Energy Efficiency at City Facilities

Written by Wes Schmidgall
Wednesday, 07 December 2011
BLOOMINGTON, ILLINOIS — Utilizing a $60,000 grant, the City of Bloomington is studying ways to improve the energy efficiency of its police department facility.The $60,000 grant was funded through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and is being managed by the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center.“The police department facility is 13 years old and one of the city’s largest buildings,” said Bob Floyd, Facilities Manager for the City of Bloomington. “The Smart Energy Design Assistance Center grant will provide a good opportunity for the energy systems to be evaluated for their efficiency at a minimum cost.”Managed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and supported by the 360 Energy Group, the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center provides advice and analyses enabling private and public facilities in the State of Illinois to increase their economic viability through the efficient use of energy resources.As partners of ComEd and Ameren Illinois Utilities, SEDAC provides valuable service at no cost to for-profit businesses and public facilities.

“Saving energy and reducing costs is a win-win situation,” said Mark Huber, director of planning and code enforcement for the City of Bloomington. “We’ve very excited to be beginning this project and to see results.

A Smart Energy Design Assistance Center consultant, McNally Engineers, Ltd. of Lindenhurst started the study on September 20. The study that focuses on the efficiency of energy systems, including lighting, HVAC and the operation of these systems, is estimated to be completed in September of 2013.

The city will be able to determine what energy system improvements need to made at the facility, based on the results of the study.

“The last ten months of the study will be collecting data to evaluate the success of the implemented recommendations,” said Floyd.

Based on those recommendations, the city plans to implement energy system improvements at the facility.

“This study will outline the steps we can take to improve the efficiency of the building,” said Huber.
The city is required to spend $10,000 of the grant funds for the improvement of the energy systems at the facility. They plan to finance other energy system improvements with funds from additional grants.

“While the improvements can be subject to further grants, the city is required to spend up to $10,000 as part of the upgrades and changes,” said Huber.

In 18 months or less, the city is expected to save the $10,000 it will spend on energy system improvements, in energy service fees.

The city plans to improve the energy systems at other city facilities, similar to how it improved the energy systems at the police department facility.

“The final report will be shared with all city departments,” said Floyd. “Any information from the final report that is usable in other buildings will be taken into consideration.”

The study will also determine what the city will need to do at its facilities to meet the standards outlined in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) that the State of Illinois will adapt in June of 2012.

More stringent than the 2009 IECC, the 2012 IECC will require more building insulation, a tighter envelope, mandatory whole-house ventilation, tighter ducts, better windows and more efficient lighting.

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