Commission approves energy audit

Moffat County could be going green and saving some green in the process.

On Tuesday, the Moffat County Commission approved, 3-0, an energy performance evaluation contract with the Aurora-based Ennovate Corporation.

The project is a three-step process aimed at evaluating the energy use of all county department buildings.

From the evaluation, Ennovate will recommend ways the county can upgrade or change its current energy use to more efficiently power buildings.

Ultimately, the county is guaranteed by Ennovate to recoup its expenses in the process.

The money saved by improving energy deficiencies could go to fund other projects such as capitol improvements or more building upgrades in the long run, said Tinneal Gerber, Moffat County budget analyst.

The project is organized and monitored by the Governor’s Energy Office. The county commission began investigating the possibility of implementing the performance evaluation in the fall of 2008, commissioner Tom Mathers said.

The process will start with a preliminary technical energy audit, which is at no cost to the county.

The preliminary audit will consist of assessing the county’s energy use and a preliminary cost and savings engineering assessment. Ennovate will then make recommendations to the county on ways to reduce its energy use and projects it could implement.

The county can then decide which projects it wants to pursue.

Based on the county’s decision, Ennovate will then conduct a more in-depth assessment and present a final report at a cost of 9 cents per square foot.

From there, the county will begin the implementation of those suggestions. Construction costs to implement the energy-saving measures depend on the projects selected by the commission, Gerber said.

A preliminary schedule slates the project to be completed by February 2011. The county is then required to track its energy savings through 2013.

Energy uses that could be studied include lighting, heating and water use, and other county paid utilities.

The average savings of counties that implement the performance evaluation are about 10 to 30 percent, according to the Governor’s Energy Office.

In 2008, Moffat County spent $384,525 on utilities for all of its department buildings. The county could save $115,357 if it were able to trim 30 percent of those utility expenses.

Moffat County isn’t the only county to start the process of energy performance contracting. Routt and Rio Blanco counties are entered into the process, as well as about 13 other counties across the state.

“Unfortunately, it will cost us funds to get it done but the savings over the years will pay for it,” Mathers said. “It is an investment in the future.”

Commissioner Audrey Danner said the energy performance evaluation was ranked as a higher priority item due to budget shortfalls and declining county revenues.

Danner said the project will involve extensive work with all the county’s departments to successfully implement the energy-saving measures.

But that’s work that will be worth the reward, she said.

“We have to keep up the maintenance of our buildings for the future,” she said. “Any changes that we can do to increase our efficiencies make them better buildings for the comfort of our employees and citizens and extend the life of the building, that is what we have to do.”

Also at its regular meeting Tuesday, the Moffat County Commission:

• Approved, 3-0, payroll warrant resolutions ending April 17 totaling $677,068.36.

• Approved, 3-0, a services contract with Love & Logic representative Leslie Christensen for effective and non–abusive discipline education not to exceed $2,000.

• Approved, 3-0, a five-county core services substance abuse services contract with Thomas Traynor of Steamboat Springs not to exceed $5,000.

• Approved, 3-0, a five-county core services mental health services contract with Mary Haas of Granby not to exceed $1,250.

• Approved, 3-0, a five-county core services mental health services contract with Rita Rhodes of Oak Creek not to exceed $20,000.

• Approved, 3-0, awarding a bid for energy performance contracting with Ennovate Corporation at 9 cents per square foot if services are chosen by the county.

• Approved, 3-0, awarding a bid for concession stand services at Loudy-Simpson Park to Hubler Enterprises, working as Cugino’s Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant. Cugino’s will rent the space from the county for $900 per month.

• Approved, 3-0, an abatement hearing and refund of $3,609.54 to Martyn Development.

• Approved, 3-0, an abatement hearing and refund of $1,012.43 to Fleischli Oil.

• Approved, 3-0, March 16 minutes from the Moffat County Social Services meeting.

• Heard a presentation from Barbara West of the Northwest Colorado Council for Children and Families.

• Heard a presentation on caseload trends and a monthly report from Marie Peer of Social Services.

• Approved, 3-0, a request to waive the bid process on a five-year lease upgrade with Xerox for county copiers.

• Approved, 3-0, to move into executive session to discuss negotiation procedures related to Griffin Hadden v. Moffat County, a county road litigation, with county attorney Kathleen Taylor and natural resources director Jeff Comstock.

• Approved, 3-0, to move into executive session to give legal advice on a legal claim with county attorney Kathleen Taylor and human resources director Lynnette Running.

For a recap of Tuesday’s commission meeting, read Wednesday’s Craig Daily Press or visit www.craigdailypress.com.

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