Town of Minden Improves Energy Systems With Energy Performance Contract

The Town of Minden had an old kerosene heater that didn’t adequately heat their buildings. On top of not working well, it was expensive to operate and maintain.

The town’s energy system problems turned out to be the perfect energy performance contract case study in NY.

“When our workers would arrive in the morning, the plows would still have actual snow and ice on them, despite being inside all night,” said Scott Crewell, the town’s Superintendent of Highways. “After being in the garage for a bit, it would take my crew an hour in the break room to get warm again and productivity would stop during that time.”

The town paid thousands of dollars a month for kerosene, only to get dismal results. Their system was outdated and inefficient.

The town also had dim lights in the courthouse.

Something needed to change.

The town’s supervisor, Cheryl Reese, had recently learned that the county the town resided in had used an energy performance contract to pay for energy efficiency projects. She wondered if her tiny town in upstate New York could do the same.

Town leaders partnered with an energy systems optimization company to come up with a plan to replace the kerosene heating system with a boiler that used natural gas – and have an energy performance contract pay for it. This funding mechanism is a piece of legislation that allows the guaranteed energy savings actually fund the project, which means the cash-strapped town didn’t have to pay anything nor raise taxes.

Soon, energy experts were installing the new boiler with infrared heating in the highway building and LED lighting in the courthouse as well as other interior and exterior public spaces throughout the town.

Town employees are no longer freezing during the winter months, despite being inside, and their productivity has gone back to a consistent level. Also, mood and morale has improved among the crew.

Reese is proud to have helped find a solution that improved the town’s buildings and created a better work environment for the people she has known most of her life. As a long time resident of the town, Reese hopes to see additional energy efficiency projects that have a positive impact on the town she loves and calls home.

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