In order to save money on energy costs, some organizations have the option of leaving old buildings or offices. But for Manchester city government, getting a new city hall or moving the library weren’t practical choices. Instead, municipal leaders needed alternatives to making these 100+ year old buildings energy efficient.
That task fell to Kevin O’Maley, the city’s chief facilities manager. Both structures are cultural cornerstones in the Queen City, but are of Edwardian Era construction with unique infrastructure challenges. “We wanted to preserve the historic nature of the buildings,” says O’Maley.
Through a loan from Clean Energy Fund, O’Maley was able to replace City Hall’s oil boiler with one that runs on natural gas. This reduced the amount of energy used by 25% and cut costs by $15,000.
The Clean Energy Fund is one of the state’s largest portfolios for efficiency and renewable energy financing.
Over at the city library, two behemoth oil burners were taken offline in favor of heating with one high-efficiency gas furnace. “We’re just replacing an older piece of equipment with a more efficient boiler that will pay for itself,” he says.
As part of a city-wide effort to control fuel and power costs at schools, offices, and other municipal buildings, O’Maley says energy expenditures will have gone from nearly $4 million in 2009 to under $2 million at the end of this fiscal year.
Another improvement was the replacement of incandescent bulbs throughout the library. This included ringing LED lights around the building’s most majestic feature: the glass rotunda which towers over the main chamber. Accessing the skylight to change a burned out bulb is no easy task. O’Maley muses that, with their 18 year projected lifespan, a maintenance worker may now go his entire career and maybe only change them once.
When you have buildings that are more than a century old, your options may be limited. It’s important to take advantage of the resources – both technological and financial