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Honeywell to Present Energy Audit Plan to Town Council, School Board

Tolland council and school board members learned about energy services contracts at a combined meeting on Tuesday night.

The Tolland school board and town council requested that energy services company (ESCO) Honeywell, LLC present an energy audit proposal in the near future, at its combined Tuesday night meeting.

The presentation with Honeywell, LLC would give elected officials more information before potentially entering an energy performance contract between the company and the town.

The Tuesday night meeting, led by Paul Reynolds of the Tolland Energy and Facilities Task Force, walked elected officials through the details of energy performance contracts.

An ESCO, such as Honeywell, would provide facility improvements on school district and town buildings. The improvements would be funded through energy savings, according to the presentation.

Generally, the contracts can last from 10 to 20 years and consist of a variety of projects.

An ESCO would first come in and complete an energy audit of all town buildings to establish a baseline for energy savings. 

The town of Tolland currently spends $1.5 million a year on utilities for all of its facilities, according to Celtic Energy Director of Engineering, Paul Popinchalk, who is assisting the town with the bidding process for the contract.

He explained that short-term savings through new energy efficiencies are used to fund the more expensive improvements.

"If you save $100,000 a year, then on a ten year project, you can put a million into improvements," he said. 

While the actual improvements are yet to be discussed, suggestions such as placing solar panels on Tolland Intermediate School and Tolland Middle School, which have completely electric systems, were mentioned as possible projects.

Town Manager Steven Werbner stressed the importance of agreeing on an accurate and fair baseline before signing any contracts. The town would have to pay the ESCO for any significant change in the baseline energy expenditures, stemming from increased usage of town facilities.

He also added that the cost of a project manager should be factored into the contract. Werbner explained that town staff could not possibly manage a long-term upgrade of mulitple facilities, since town employees are already working overtime to oversee the geothermal project at town hall.

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According to the presentation, both Johnson and Honeywell, LLC submitted proposals for the energy performance contract. However, the Tolland Energy and Facilities Task Force recommends Honeywell, based on reference checks.

Both the town council and school board would have to approve a contract before any audits or improvements were to move forward.

The assistance from Celtic Energy is being funded by a state municipal quickspend energy grant.

The presentation with Honeywell, LLC has not yet been scheduled.

The council and school board are meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Tolland High School to discuss the town budget process.

Concerned Resident October 17, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Here's a tip....manage the temperature control at the high school! Every kid I talk to complains that it is always frezzing in the school. Even during shorts season.

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