By Barbara Heins
The Town of Greenwich has been working for years on strategies for reducing energy use to better control costs.
There have been energy audits and close monitoring of all of resources looking for ways to better provide governmental services while decreasing the amount of energy the town uses.
First Selectman Peter Tesei said, “We have taken all of the traditional measures that help to reduce energy use including improved insulation in all heated areas, replacement of light fixtures and bulbs with more energy efficient models and the installation of GPS in our vehicles to reduce idling.”
Last year, as part of a planned treatment plant upgrade, the town took advantage of a Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) energy efficiency incentive program to help fund the town’s aeration system improvements, which were designed to reduce energy use and replace equipment that had reached the end of its useful service life.
Tesei said, “I am pleased to report on the results of that effort. The energy improvement identified by this joint program was the replacement of three 400 hp aeration blowers with three new 250 hp blowers. Aeration blowers are installed to provide and control the amount of oxygen that is mixed with wastewater. Oxygen is an essential ingredient in the treatment process. The new blowers achieve that goal while significantly reducing our energy use.”
It is estimated that electric use will be reduced by an estimated 750,000 kWh per year, resulting in an estimated $100,000 reduction in the town’s energy bill, Tesei said.
Because the Town had to incur a significant capital cost to install these new blowers the agreement with CL&P included a capital contribution to offset some of these costs, according to Tesei. On Aug. 28, CL&P presented the town with a $377,475 check towards the costs. The new blowers cost about $674,500.
Tesei also praised the work of Wastewater Division Manager Rich Feminella, Process Control Manager Dwayne Lockwood and sewer plant personnel “for their diligence and efforts to operate our system as efficiently and economically as possible. I also want to salute our Commissioner of Public Works, Amy Siebert, whose department is responsible for this undertaking.”
Photo: Grass Island sewage treatment plant. Credit: Google maps.