Town of Minden: Bundled Energy Project

The Town of Minden encompasses 33,000 acres in the southwestern border of Montgomery County in upstate New York and contains the Village of Fort Plain. The town’s 4,200 residents live in one of the six hamlets in the town: Hallsville, Mindenville, Freybush, Fordsbush, Salt Springville and Brookmans Corners that are rich with historic, architectural, natural and cultural resources, some dating back to the 18th century. The mighty Mohawk River flows nearby.

The town partnered with SmartWatt to complete an energy systems optimization project that included LED lighting and heating system upgrades in their highway department building and courthouse.


The town featured a kerosene fired oil heating system in the Highway Department Building that was costly to operate, produced uneven temperatures and slowed productivity. Additionally, the town had older exterior and interior lighting that was not properly controlled contributing to excessive energy use and maintenance cost.

Lack of Budget: The town lacked the budget for the project and endured their inefficient kerosene heating system for years because they couldn’t afford to replace it.

Energy Costs: the town’s kerosene heating system was expensive to operate and didn’t adequately heat the garage bays in the highway department facility.

Uneven Temperature: The inefficient and antiquated heating system didn’t properly heat the facility, causing work to slow or stop altogether. The crew would return form plowing the town’s roads and would return to the facility only to sit in the breakroom to stay warm because the garage was so frigid.

Dim Lighting: The fixtures installed in the courthouse were not properly designed for the space, making the output less than desirable and dim. Also, many exterior spaces lacked lighting altogether. Additionally, fixtures were not being controlled which meant energy dollars being spent to light the spaces that were not in use.

To reduce costs to operate and maintain the heating systems, and increase light levels for staff and residents, a boiler was installed, along with infrared heating. Also, LED lights were installed in the town’s buildings and parking lots.

A new fixture layout in the courthouse and highway facility was designed to provide a more even distribution of lighting. The new layout included the removal of unnecessary fixtures, plus the addition of new fixtures in areas that required a higher light level. Advanced lighting controls were incorporated into each fixture with the addition of occupancy sensors.

Interior and exterior LED fixtures were installed throughout the highway facility and courthouse. The LED fixtures require a lower wattage than the original fixtures while still providing equivalent or higher light levels. Appropriate light levels are key to safety and visibility for all who work and visit the space. A new boiler and infrared heating system were installed in the highway department building generating warmth for workers while reducing energy costs for the town.

The new heating system is now adequately heating the facility, keeping workers warm in the garage and able to work, even on the coldest days. Additionally, the cost to operate and maintain an efficient system has been drastically reduced. The lighting design, light levels, and even distribution of light have resulted in positive feedback from the users of the space.

Quote: “Our town is now operating more efficiently and safely,” said Town of Minden Supervisor Cheryl Reese. “SmartWatt is the best thing that has ever happened to this town.”

  • 19,612 annually in therm savings
  • 18,771 annually in kWh savings
  • $3,910 Utility incentive
  • $16,146 annually in energy savings
  • $704 savings in annual maintenance costs
  • Year 1 guaranteed savings achieved

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