Having already implemented programs such as the Recycle Bank and routine paper-shredding events, the city recently decided to move forward with selecting a company to find ways to go greener when powering the city.
The council recently heard a presentation from the Trane Company, a brand of Ingersoll Rand which helps municipalities with energy improvements.
“Trane’s commitment to the city of McDonough is to provide a comprehensive solution to make it energy efficient, cost effective, innovative and sustainable,” said Carla Parker, a representative with the Trane Company.
Jestin Johnson, assistant to city administrator Frederick Gardiner, said Gardiner developed a rapport with Trane representatives during a recent Georgia Municipal Conference and in June, the company made its first presentation to the city.
The most recent visit on Oct. 4 was a presentation of an energy audit performed by Trane on the city.
“We want to work with you to fund some vital projects by using some operational savings,” Parker said through a performance contract. “What we do is we use the future guaranteed savings to pay for the upfront costs of the projects.”
Trane’s Cameron Griffith, who conducted the study, reviewed such city buildings as city hall, the McDonough Welcome Center, Walnut Creek Wastewater Treatment Plan and the police and fire station.
For example, the police and fire station audit shows its electricity cost is $2.37 per square foot.
The national average is $1.48 per square foot.
By upgrading lights, thermostats and heating and cooling units, the costs could be brought down.
City hall performed even worse on the audit, with its electricity costs coming in at $2.66 per square foot.
He said from August 2011 to July 2012, the city spent $423,870 on energy, but with improvements, could reduce that to $339,000.
“I’m thrilled that the mayor and council have made this step. I was overwhelmed with the amount of money the city of Atlanta saves and other places have really saved,” Councilwoman Gail Notti said of other municipalities that have pursued energy efficiency. “It’s not a little bit of money; it’s a tremendous amount of money.”
The council voted unanimously to begin the request for proposal process to award a bid to whichever company has the most competitive bid.