BY LAUREN HENRY
The Town of Greeneville has an opportunity to save approximately $82,000 a year, according to a presentation by Ameresco Inc. at Tuesday afternoon's Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting.
Ameresco provides energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for facilities nationwide, including Walters State Community College locally.
"A couple of months ago the board considered an opportunity to look at an evaluation of our overall utility usage for the town of Greeneville," City Adminster Todd Smith said.
He said he began to meet with Miles Mennell with Ameresco.
"We have been working last few months on putting together ideas on how to make our operation more efficient," he said.
Mennell presented some of those findings to the board Tuesday afternoon.
"These are strategies for reducing energy use and cost," she said.
"The process we employ: the first step is the opportunity assessment and that is what we have done this fall working again with your city administer and with Mr. [Brad] Peters [Town Engineer and Public Works Director] and with other department team leaders to figure out how much money we think we can capture out of what you're already spending that we can redirect into a performance contract," she said.
"Performance contracting is simply a procurement strategy."
"Opportunity assessment is a baseline of how much money we can save the town of Greeneville out of your operating budget and utility budget -- money we can take and redirect into a performance contract so that infrastructure and utility improvements self-fund."
"Next step take numbers present tonight and go into an investment grade audit and we would firm them up with a the firm scope of working which would lead us from there to a project contract."
Mennell presented the opportunity assessment which showed how energy-efficient upgrades, LED lighting, and other energy efficient and cost saving measures could save the town a projected $82,000 a year.
Ameresco guarantees the cost savings for 13 years and will write a check to the town if the final cost saving projections aren't met each year.
The examples Mennell presented Tuesday afternoon also included infrastructure improvements such as adding a drop ceiling to the Recreational Center, adding Web-based controls to facility heating to turn off when buildings are not in use, and redoing the EastView pool which has settled since its creation in the 1950s, which would include a splash pad.
Mennell said that the energy savings would actually grow slightly each year as utility costs inflate.
"This is what we are talking about on this 20/20 Vision," said Mayor W.T. Daniels.
He cited one of the recent committees for the 20/20 Vision project -- preparing infrastructure.
"I am glad you all are here because this works hand in hand with what we are talking about for the city of Greeneville," he said.
"It certainly gives us something to consider for the betterment of our community."
"I think this presentation supports what we were trying to say and get over to the public when we had the 20/20 Vision workshop. Somehow people thought that whatever we were gonna do was gonna raise taxes and we were trying to explain that we wanted to be efficient with what we have and look at the whole picture of how we are doing it, and this is a perfect example of ways we can save money and use that saved money to go further down the road," Alderman Sarah Webster said.
The town of Greeneville will continue its relationship with Ameresco.