New energy plan expected to save city $2.85 million

Front, from left, Schneider Electric project manager Jack Sayre and sales rep Allie Harris, City Clerk Mary Ann Hess, Mayor Johnny Magee, Councilmen George Carmichael and Jason Capers, and Dave Horton, performance assurance for SE; back, Parks & Recreation Director Elvin Ulmer, John Rehus (performance assurance), Jeff Williams (Information Technology, City of Laurel), construction superintendent Cody Gronemeir, Danny Thompson (performance assurance), Kerry Holifield of the Laurel Fire Department and City Public Works Director Lorenzo Anderson. (Photo by Mark Thornton)

Schneider Electric will save the City of Laurel an estimated $2.85 million in energy and phone/data costs over the next 20 years, company officials announced at a recent ribbon-cutting at City Hall.

The Laurel Energy Initiative will bring an annual projected savings of $111,415 for an annual investment of $50,000 to $70,000 by the city, according to an information sheet that was handed out.

Some of the plans Schneider Electric officials have to save money include:

• Replacing old HVAC equipment and replacing it with a more efficient unit at the Cameron Center;

• Replacing a corroded pool-heating boiler at the Natatorium with a more efficient unit;

• Adding 20 tons of cooling capacity at L.T. Ellis Center;

• Building an automated system to control HVAC schedules and temperatures from a centralized system for large facilities, such as the police station, the Train Depot and indoor recreation facilities;

• Upgrading more than 2,000 interior, exterior and street lights with LED technology, improving the look and efficiency and reducing replacement intervals by three times;

• Installing a new voice-over phone system and data system that will increase productivity and save money.

The projected annual savings for the lighting alone is $18,705 and $10,021 for the Natatorium, according to company officials.

The savings will be applied to ongoing infrastructure improvement projects, city officials said.

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