Commissioners expand energy efficiency measures to save on electricity, natural gas and water at Dauphin County buildings

HARRISBURG, PA (September 12, 2018) – Ongoing efforts by the Dauphin County Commissioners to install energy efficient equipment in county buildings and purchase power at lower rates has resulted in savings of at least $1 million annually.

Looking to save even more tax dollars, the commissioners today approved issuing a Request for Proposals from companies specializing in reducing energy and water use in buildings to continue the successful efforts started eight years ago.

Work by Constellation Energy that included a solar water heater at the prison and installing energy efficient lighting, low-flow sinks and other work throughout county buildings saved the county roughly $665,000 annually since 2011.

 “We had such a positive experience with Constellation Energy that we want to again reach out to firms that specialize in energy savings and see if we can build on our success,’’ said board Chairman Jeff Haste. “Pursuing these kinds of savings is one way this board has been able to hold the line on property taxes for the last 13 years.’’

 The commissioners’ goal is to have a contract in place later this year so work can begin in early 2019.

Since 2014, the commissioners have also engaged Pennsylvania-based Provident Energy Consulting, LLC to handle electricity and natural gas purchases – a move that has saved almost $570,000 annually since 2014. Provident Energy will also assist the county in preparing the request for proposals for the new energy saving company and in the selection process.

“These efforts are a win for the environment and a win for our taxpayers,’’ said Commissioner Mike Pries. “The energy savings we’re seeing are greater than what we’ve spent on upgraded equipment and for the services of Provident to get us the best prices on electricity and natural gas.’’

Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III said he looks forward to seeing how improved technology can continue to help conserve energy and save tax dollars.

“When we did the first round of upgrades, LED lighting wasn’t cost effective, but now it may make sense to install it throughout the county’s buildings,’’ Hartwick said. “These energy-saving projects are just one example of how this board never stops looking for ways to do our job without placing a burden on taxpayers while we actively commit to using less energy and reducing our carbon footprint.”