County Begins Energy Efficiency Program for Courthouse Complex

The Westmoreland County Board of Commissioners Tom Balya, Ted Kopas and Charles Anderson announced today a retrofit program to the County Courthouse buildings designed to modernize the complex’s energy systems.

Constellation Energy, contractor for the project, has recently completed an Investment Grade Audit and has begun work on several of the Energy Conservation Measures (ECM) outlined in the audit. The first ECM will be the replacement of the inefficient and antiquated heating and air conditioning mechanical equipment. The heating and cooling equipment of the Courthouse will be replaced with a modern and highly efficient system.

The second ECM will be the replacement of the Courthouse Annex’s windows. The original windows, being 30 years old, are well past their life expectancy and are in need of replacement. Once completed, these upgrades will drastically reduce the energy needs of the courthouse complex resulting in immediate financial savings and a smaller environmental footprint.

“We have long practiced good energy management and recognized the benefits of making sound capital investments in county facilities” says County Commissioner Chairman Tom Balya. “These investments will help reduce our energy demand and provide a savings to the taxpayers of the county.”

Funding for this project is being provided by an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant through the United Stated Department of Energy. In December 2009, Westmoreland County was approved for $3,006,500 to design and execute an energy efficiency comprehensive strategy. Over the past year, the ARRA funding was used to complete several other energy savings activities, such as the installation of a ground source heat pump at the Juvenile Services Center, the purchase of 750 LCD computer monitors, and the implementation of an energy efficiency education program to provide essential information to businesses, non-profits, municipal and institutional leaders on identifying, financing and implementing energy savings solutions. More information is available at http://energyefficiency.wcdpa.com/ .

The County of Westmoreland, through the leadership of the Board of Commissioners, has long practiced sustainable energy use and promoted the importance of good energy management for the economic and environmental well being of its residents. The county’s initial project, commissioned in 2004 with Noresco, authorized the investment of $6 million for energy efficiency upgrades. The utility savings of these upgrades resulted in a Return on Investment of six and one-half years. “The county’s savings through year six was in excess of $1 million per year” said Mel Wohlgemuth, County Engineer.

For more information, contact Jason Rigone at 724.830.3061 or at jrigone@co.westmoreland.pa.us .