What we do
The Energy Initiatives Section works closely with divisions across government to implement the city’s Energy Management Plan. The plan was established in 2004 to reduce consumption of fuel and utilities, promote conservation, and realize cost savings.
LFUCG operations span 186 facilities, two wastewater treatment plants, 76 pump stations and 455 traffic lights. In addition, the city leases approximately 33,000 streetlights and 7,000 fire hydrants. All at an annual cost of more than $19,800,000 in gas-water-electric utilities.
Each month we review over 1,390 utility bills to compare current use and cost against historical data using EnergyCAP software. The software’s ability to make comparisons against historical data is a valuable timesaver for spotting outlier behavior and sharing information with end users.
The Energy Initiatives Section is also responsible for the building automation servers that control heating and cooling equipment in LFUCG’s larger facilities. Combining this information with utility data yields a deeper understanding of building operation to help us identify opportunities for water and energy savings.
The Energy Initiatives Section hosts regular meetings of the city’s Energy Team. The meetings provide an opportunity to share ideas, report problems and coordinate project activities with other divisions. The collaboration has been very successful. Outlier reports and facility benchmarks are guiding strategic plans for building retrofits, energy efficiency criteria are being used in procurement specifications for new equipment and capital construction projects, and continual rate comparisons are finding less expensive options for utility accounts. All of which saves taxpayer dollars.
Progress & acheivements
In 2010, the Urban County Council passed a resolution to establish the Energy Improvement Fund – an internal revolving loan program where cost reductions and savings realized through energy management measures can be reinvested in future projects. The Energy Initiatives Section plays a key role in tracking project performance and making a business case for the next improvement project.
Since its creation, the Energy Improvement Fund has financed more than $2.8 million in utility reduction initiatives. Projects range from replacing boilers with more efficient models and modernizing HVAC control systems to the installation of occupancy sensors and LED lighting.
While energy efficiency is our focus, the economics of renewable energy projects continue to improve. The City installed its first grid-tied solar photovoltaic systems in the spring of 2021. In the coming years, we anticipate using more renewable energy from technologies like solar to complement our goals of reducing utility consumption, lowering costs and being better stewards of the environment.