GREENVILLE, N.C. - The government of Pitt County, N.C., expects to save more than $3.7 million in energy and building operation costs under a 12-year performance contract with Siemens Building Technologies Inc.

"The agreement with Siemens gives Pitt County a long-term, budget-neutral solution for improving the comfort and efficiency of our government buildings," said Phil Dickerson, deputy county manager for Public Services.

Starting in September 2005, Siemens began to upgrade the HVAC systems in various government buildings, including the installation of new digital HVAC controls in two county facilities, and the replacement of the chiller that serves the county's Mental Health and Public Health buildings with a newer, more efficient unit.

To further reduce utility costs, Siemens will help lower by about $58,000 per year the electric utility costs associated with the operation of the emergency generation system that serves the Detention Center and Administration Building. This will be accomplished via a peak-shaving, fuel-switching application, installed by Siemens and operated by the local Greenville Utility Commission. The county also plans to save more than $10,000 per year in energy costs through an EPA Energy Star-rated electric power management system that will automatically turn off up to 850 desktop computers in county facilities when not in use.

Siemens will also upgrade the lighting in 24 government buildings by retrofitting more than 6,900 lamps with more energy-efficient lighting provided by sister company Osram Sylvania. The lighting retrofit alone will save Pitt County more than 1.5 million kWh of electricity each year, according to Siemens.

In addition, Siemens will improve the indoor air comfort and energy efficiency of the County Administration, Mental Health, and Public Health buildings by coating their windows with a special film that reduces the thermal effects of solar radiation. The film is said to help keep the buildings cooler and more comfortable, while reducing the load on the air conditioning systems that serve them.

Project improvements are scheduled for completion in February 2006.

The upgraded systems and products are valued at nearly $2.7 million, but the performance contract allows Pitt County to avoid upfront capital expenditures and pay for the project's costs over a 12-year period by using the savings achieved through increased energy and operational efficiency. Siemens guaranteed Pitt County energy and operational savings of $308,600 a year.

"Performance contracting allows communities like Pitt County to improve the energy and operational efficiency of their facilities without having to fund the improvements through new taxes or capital expenditures," said Siemens manager Frank Shepard, Carolina Energy Services.

For more information, go to

Publication date: 12/12/2005