Energy Central – Energy Efficiency, ‘The Invisible Hero?’
Most would agree that energy conservation is important. Method and the best path of execution are where opinions vary. But do you believe energy efficiency should be a public service that will eventually improve the nation’s economy? “Every dollar that our local governments and public bodies save on their electric bills is a dollar that can help them improve service to the public in other ways.” This is the opinion of Foster Campbell of the Louisiana Public Service Commission and he is not alone.
A new push by Senate leaders may revive energy efficiency beyond businesses. Speaking about the upcoming COVID-19 relief package that would aid clean energy sectors, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “This is not just for businesses. It’s for hospitals, doctors, nurses, yes, businesses, but also colleges, universities, K through 12.” A letter by the Coalition for Green Capital describes the opportunities for clean and efficient energy as boundless. Acknowledging the expense and level of commitment required, the letter added, ”Trillions of dollars of investment is needed to build clean energy infrastructure that will put millions back to work, strengthen communities, reduce pollution, improve public health, lower energy costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” To combat the challenge of investment dollars, partnerships and grants have become another option.
Many schools haven’t delivered details about when students will return but that hasn’t stopped them from making plans to save energy. Bethel School District in Eugene, Oregon is partnering with Ameresco Inc. to reduce their energy bill and increase their efficiency. The two entities have announced a $3.6 million comprehensive energy efficiency project. Funds will go toward improving lighting, HVAC controls, plumbing, and irrigation systems in multiple facilities as part of the district’s effort to reduce spending. “We are so excited to have entered into this first phase of energy and infrastructure improvements for Bethel School District,” said Louis Maltezos, Executive Vice President of Ameresco. This is the third of such partnerships between the energy efficiency company and local school districts.