Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011 | 3:45 p.m.
North Las Vegas will soon join cities such as Henderson and Carson City in implementing new energy conservation measures to save money.
The City Council voted last week to authorize up to $2.2 million in medium-term obligation bonds to finance the cost of building energy improvement projects.
After an energy audit identified several energy conservation measures the city could be taking, the council voted to enter into an agreement with Ameresco, a private energy service company.
“It allows the city to make an investment in its buildings and infrastructure by using our energy savings,” said Skip Grey, the city’s sustainability coordinator . “These qualified energy conservation bonds have much lower interest rates.”
The 10-year contract with Ameresco guarantees annual savings of more than $250,000, 90 percent of which will be used to pay for the projects. About $24,000 of that will be credited to the city’s general fund every year for the next decade.
When the contract is over, the city will keep the total savings. If the projected savings don’t match the actual savings, Ameresco must pay the difference.
The survey included 118 city buildings and sites, such as the city’s main library.
“The most important one is the main library chiller,” Grey said. “It’s over 20 years old and on its last leg. Energy costs will be less with the new energy-efficient chiller.”
Other areas in the city that will see energy conservation improvements are the indoor and outdoor lights in city parks and buildings, computer controls for city desktop computers and a new pumping station, storage tank and fuel truck to make fuel cost reductions.
“Basically, all those projects will be paid for in 10 years,” Grey said.
He said the city’s financial woes wouldn’t stop it from planning for the future.
“We are looking forward to all these great projects,” Grey said. “We’re trying to be progressive and be a leader in energy savings.”