OC Energy Efficiency Projects Save $375K

OCEAN CITY — Sweeping energy conservation measures through a series of projects performed even better than expected with over $375,000 in savings in the first year alone.

In November 2015, the town of Ocean City entered into an energy performance contract with the Energy System Group (ESG). The contract required ESG to complete a number of energy-saving projects throughout the resort including replacing aging HVAC equipment nearing the end of its useful life.

The contract guaranteed considerable energy savings for the town and was set up in such a way that the savings would be redirected to pay for the cost of the numerous projects. However, the savings in the first year alone were even greater than anticipated.

City Engineer Terry McGean presented an update on the energy performance contract. He explained the contract with ESG guaranteed first-year savings of $255,626. However, the series of projects was completed in April 2017 and in that first year ending in May 2018, the actual savings realized from the energy efficiency enhancements came in at $375,007.

“The projects were completed a year ago, so we have a year under our belt to be sure we’re getting the energy savings we expected,” said McGean. “As you can see, there is good news on the year-to-date savings.”

The ESG projects included the replacement of all city-owned street lights with LED lamps, LED lighting retrofits in almost all city buildings, insulation and building envelop improvements city buildings and replacing end-of-life roof-top HVAC units at City Hall. The projects also included replacing end-of-life chillers and cooling towers at the Public Safety Building and installing a heat recovery chiller at the Public Safety Building.

Other projects included new HVAC control systems at City Hall, the Public Safety Building and the Northside Park Recreation Complex among others. The total cost of all of the projects came in at around $4.5 million. However, with rebates from Delmarva Power for the energy-saving projects, the actual out-of-pocket cost was about $4.3 million.

The savings realized from the energy efficiency projects is being redirected to paying the debt service on the vast number of projects including the $375,000 in savings in the first year alone, a point ESG representative Karen White made clear on Tuesday.

“This is so important for the city and the taxpayers to know,” she said. “We did 11 buildings and you didn’t have to touch a penny of capital. It was all paid for by the energy savings. Basically, you’re getting $4.5 million worth of work the taxpayers would have had to pay for otherwise.”

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.