SANDUSKY, Ohio - Honeywell announced it will implement an energy-efficiency program for the city of Sandusky, Ohio, that will help the city reduce energy and maintenance expenses while upgrading its facilities and infrastructure. The improvements also are expected to significantly cut carbon dioxide emissions and bolster Sandusky’s tourism with a refurbished city greenhouse.

Funded through a $1.5-million performance contract, the work is expected to save Sandusky an estimated $181,000 in annual operating costs. These savings, which are guaranteed by Honeywell, are expected to pay for the improvements with no additional costs to taxpayers.

“With rising prices for natural gas, electricity, and fuel for city vehicles, we needed to address deferred maintenance across our facilities without significant budget increases,” said Dan Kaman, mayor of Sandusky. “Working with Honeywell, we’re able to meet our objectives and become a more environmentally friendly organization in the process.”

As part of the 10-year agreement, Honeywell will make extensive improvements to the city’s greenhouse, reducing energy consumption by nearly 80 percent. Honeywell will replace the 35-year-old existing glass windows with high-impact acrylic panels that will double the insulation value.

The program also includes a new shading system to further reduce the strain on HVAC equipment. In addition, HVAC upgrades and a new control system will create consistency in the greenhouse’s air rotation and temperature, which is more conducive for plant growth.

To help educate visitors on sustainable practices, Honeywell also will install a one-kilowatt photovoltaic solar array on the roof of the greenhouse. A Web-based display in the greenhouse will show real-time power generation and conservation information, providing an educational tool for students and other guests to learn about the environmental benefits of renewable energy. (The solar installation is supported through funding from the Foundation for Environmental Education, a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding environmental and energy literacy.)

Based in part on its energy-efficiency plans for the greenhouse, the city was recently awarded a $475,000 “Access to Recreation” grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to make additional upgrades to ensure the facility is readily accessible to people with disabilities.

Along with the greenhouse improvements, Honeywell will upgrade approximately 1,000 lights with energy-efficient fixtures throughout the city’s service center, water works, fire stations, and waste water treatment plant. The new fixtures will improve lighting levels and reduce operational and maintenance costs. Sandusky’s incandescent traffic and pedestrian lights also will be replaced with longer-lasting light emitting diodes (LEDs) that are expected to create significant energy savings and reduce signal failures.

Other infrastructure improvements include the installation of a centralized building management system that will help engineers monitor and control energy use across city facilities. The boiler plant at the Big Island Water Works Plant will be retrofitted with high-efficiency steam boilers and new steam traps as well. Honeywell also will seal and weather strip several buildings to reduce heating and cooling losses throughout the year, and improve occupant comfort.

Combined, the upgrades are expected to reduce the city’s energy use by more than 10 percent. The work will have a significant environmental impact as well, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by more than 2.7 million pounds per year. According to figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this is equivalent to removing almost 240 cars from the road or planting more than 375 acres of trees.

Honeywell expects to complete the work by year’s end. In addition, it will provide ongoing measurement and verification of energy savings as part of the contract.

“Sandusky and other cities across the country are looking for ways to attract new residents and business, and become more energy efficient at the same time,” said Kent Anson, vice president of global energy for Honeywell Building Solutions. “Performance contracts are an effective means to this end. Honeywell has used this financing tool to help customers in Ohio design and implement projects that are expected to deliver more than $300 million in energy and operating savings.”

Publication date:02/04/2008