Energy conservation initiatives are slowly making gains in saving the town money.
Bruce Hampson of the presented at the Board of Seletman meeting Monday night a number of energy-saving strategies and upgrades that the commission has done under the American Recovery and Reconstruction Act grant.
- Replaced underground circulatory water pumps of Town Hall
- Found that in the Town Hall Annex and at the firehouse that the boilers operated year round so they installed temperature controls to disable/enable them. Hanson said this action was the “biggest bang for the buck” when asked by the Board.
- In the Town Hall Annex, installed a programmable thermostat for the heat not to be active all night.
- LED outdoor lighting were installed on outdoor lamps at Middlebrook School
- Installed Day-Lighting Control circuitry at the , which senses the light level in the space adjacent to the windows. If the sun provides enough light, the overhead lights go off.
- Over the next two weeks there will be $150k worth of upgrades at Comstock. The town will receive a $100k 3-year loan from CL&P at no interest.
- All the current changes are top-down, so now the next step is to make behavioral changes—turning off lights, keeping doors and windows closed, for example—which can be expected to save about 5-10 percent.
- In the future, the town expects to track energy usage in municipal buildings through individualized reports
The Energy Commission is also trying to figure out how to turn off the lights at the town’s tennis courts, which are often on at night with nobody playing. Richard Dubow said this was one of the number one complaints that the Board hears from Wiltonians.
Interestingly, the lights are actually turned on and off by a computer in Ohio. The Parks and Rec center has to call an automated number and manually program when the lights will go on and off, depending on when people schedule to use the courts. However, people leave early and don’t often notify the Rec Center, so the lights stay on.
“We beat ourselves up over that, because we’re getting the same complaints,” said Hanson.
“We gotta get a better system for this,” said First Selectman William Brennan.
“It’s a very good point, how can we talk about energy conservation” when people drive by and see the lights on, said Hampson.
“We’re going to address it in a thorough and comprehensive plan about how we can still provide the services and how we can still get the lights off when nobody is on the field,” said Brennan.