Huntersville, NC — Lime Energy Co. has completed the Allegheny County Energy Program for Municipalities (ACEPM). Lime Energy conducted general grade audits of 104 (81%) of the 129 municipal facilities in Allegheny County. Following a review of the audit findings, projected municipal contributions and estimated rebates to be received from their respective energy service providers (ESP), 75 (58%) of the 129 municipalities passed resolutions to participate by electing to have their facilities’ retrofitted with energy conservation measures.
Lime Energy was then selected to implement the largest scale energy efficiency retrofit initiative Allegheny County has ever undertaken. The retrofit effort encompassed the installation of multiple energy conservation measures: lighting retrofits, automatic control installations, domestic water upgrades, hot water tank retrofits and building envelope (weatherization) enhancements. As a result of the improvements in 75 municipality-owned facilities, where Lime Energy installed over 16,000 individual energy conservation measures, the County will save about 2.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity and 30,000 gallons of water annually, reducing its utility bills by over $300,000 per year.
Under the Allegheny County Energy Program for Municipalities (ACEPM) retrofit contract awarded in 2010, Lime has successfully implemented energy saving upgrades in 75 (58%) of the 129 municipalities throughout Allegheny County. The project was funded in part by a $2 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG), managed by the U.S. Department of Energy (US DOE), and a $400,000 grant from the R.K. Mellon Foundation. The County allocated these funds to make energy efficiency upgrades in municipality-owned buildings. In addition to the grants, the local energy service providers, Duquesne Light and West Penn Power, offered rebate incentives for the lighting phase to further offset retrofit project costs and reduce the local share from a given municipality. In determining how to distribute the EECBG stimulus dollars, the county categorized municipalities based on the percentage of low to moderate income residents within a particular community.
Those boroughs, townships and cities with the highest percentage of low/moderate income families were eligible for 100% funding of the retrofits. Other municipalities received grants that covered either 75% or 50% of the project costs. In the vast majority of the cases the municipality’s contribution was further reduced by the ESP rebates coupled with judicious and timely project management decisions that further lowered the cost paid by a particular municipality. “This is one of the largest scale municipal efficiency projects completed in the Country to date,” said Jim Smith, Executive Vice President of Operations at Lime Energy. “Allegheny County sets an ideal example for municipalities throughout the Country struggling to reduce operating costs while at the same time funding building improvements and creating local jobs.”
Dr. Fred Ralston, the ACEPM Program Manager within the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development (ACED), attributes the project’s success to both the vision of the county leaders and the expertise of Lime Energy. “From the onset, our county executives wanted to create a program that maximized the EECBG stimulus dollars and utility rebates while benefitting all taxpayers not only through on-bill savings but through an increase in available program funding as a result of the savings,” he said. “In choosing Lime Energy as our partner, we were able to rely on their skill and experience to help us navigate the complexities of the program and deliver a finished product that exceeded our expectations. This project is irrefutable evidence of the viability of the stimulus effort by providing quantifiable proof of savings over a vast area.” Following regular program audits, the U.S. Department of complimented the ACEPM effort with two (2) best practice mentions.