Efficiency push is smart move

Published 10:43 pm Saturday, September 26, 2009

Government in general has never been considered the shining example of operating efficiently at virtually any level.

But at least when it comes to energy efficiency, the Lawrence County Commissioners are looking to change that perception.

The county has decided to take advantage of a relatively new law that allows counties to receive loans of up to 30 years to pay for energy efficiency improvements on government property.

Email newsletter signup

The commissioners have based this decision upon the analysis that the maintenance savings and reduced energy bills will essentially provide the needed funds to pay the loan debt.

Let’s be clear: This is a very smart, long-term move that will almost certainly pay for itself.

But, considering the county’s money difficulties, taxpayers deserve to see a clear plan of what the loan payment is projected to cost and what the expected savings could be.

The commission is looking to borrow nearly $1 million to make changes at several of its aging structures that have shown to be anything but efficient.

Tops on the list is replacing the heating and cooling system at the courthouse. Also on the list of possible improvements: Courthouse lighting, the jail plumbing system and courthouse windows. The jail plumbing and much of the HVAC at the courthouse are original to their respective buildings.

All of these infrastructure systems are likely costing the county far more than they should because this antiquated equipment. Hopefully, this will change.

Lawrence County could become the exception to the rule when it comes to operating efficiently. It certainly isn’t there yet but hopefully this type of forward thinking is the first step.