County looking to push energy efficiency

Published 9:36 am Monday, May 4, 2009

Lawrence County Commissioners will send out requests for proposals within the next few weeks, seeking interest in a plan to make the county’s buildings more energy efficient and take advantage of state help to get the job done.

The commission Thursday agreed to take advantage of House Bill 295, which allows counties to get third-party financing for energy conservation projects as long as the project pays for itself.

The financing can be done for up to 30 years.

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“It’s a good way for us to improve facilities without breaking the budget,” Commissioner Jason Stephens said.

One of the obvious areas that might get attention is the heating system for the main part of the courthouse. Can it be upgraded or replaced and save money on repairs and utility costs?

“It is 35 years old, at least,” Stephens said. “It’s older than I am, I can tell you that.”

The county recently gave the Cincinnati-based Perfection Group permission to perform an energy analysis of the county’s three primary buildings: The courthouse, the jail and the job and family services building. Perfection Group representatives said they believe the county could save money by making improvements to these three facilities.

That company conducted an energy analysis and determined the county spends more than $100,000 a year on those three buildings.