County looking for company to do energy audit
Rama Sobhani email@example.com The commissioners have advertised for bids from companies interested in performing an energy-efficiency review on county buildings.
The county will be taking bids until Jan. 9, 2012.
Ameresco, a national energy services provider with an Indianapolis office, had offered perform a free, limited preliminary review, but the commissioners decided to open up the contract for a full inspection and review.
It is not yet known what the final cost of the contract will be but state law requires that any contract over $50,000 be opened up for bids.
The energy efficiency review would seek ways to reduce energy use by taking steps such as replacing outdated lighting fixtures, updating heating and cooling systems and improved building weatherization.
According to a preliminary report compiled for the commissioners by Ameresco in October, the estimated savings could be anywhere from $23,000 to $50,000 per year.
Company president Mark Heirbrandt said after spending some time looking at the county’s buildings, the preliminary assessment is that the county stands to benefit greatly from making efficiency changes.
“We’ve spent quite a bit of time in the buildings looking for opportunities to save money and upgrade ... they’ve got a lot of older equipment,” Heirbrandt said.
County council president Steve Thais is, so far, the only member of the council to have received some of that preliminary information on the proposal.
He has met with Ameresco representatives and said most of the things they discussed sound like they would be beneficial to the county’s pocketbook.
Thais has some familiarity with the concept of looking for energy efficiency savings because he was on a team that sought to do that for the Vincennes Community School Corp. until a contractor took over that duty.
The concept is a good one, Thais said, even thought it’s still unclear what recommendations would be made.
He estimates that when the school corporation had a team devoted to energy efficiency, from 2002 to 2010, the savings amounted to about $100,000 to $300,000 each year.
Ameresco representatives are still compiling information on the county’s buildings so Thais said it’s too early to judge the usefulness of Ameresco’s work.
“I’m not going to say that everything they might put in there would be of value to the county,” he said.
Thais said he recently sent a copy of the request for proposals from interested vendors to the rest of the council members to review.
Commissioner Jimmy Parish said he is still in favor of the project, pending the council’s approval.
And, Parish said, he has been told by Ameresco representatives that should the contract be awarded to the company, it would hire people to help with the work from a pool of local candidates.