22 Aug 2014
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Town Council Approves Honeywell Energy Conservation Program

"Over 15 years the project will completely pay for itself," said Mayor John A. Harkins.

Town Council Approves Honeywell Energy Conservation Program

The Stratford Town Council has approved an agreement with Honeywell Corp. that guarantees millions of dollars in energy conservation savings over the next 15 years.

The Town Council voted unanimously for the 15-year energy performance guarantee project at its meeting Monday in Town Hall.

The town must authorize borrowing in excess of $10 million for the project, but Honeywell estimates Stratford would receive about $14 million in savings and guarantees $11 million in savings.

Combined with grants, incentives from utility companies and special financing for energy efficiency improvements, town officials said the project is a winner for taxpayers.

"Over 15 years the project will completely pay for itself," said Mayor John A. Harkins.

"There’s a positive cash flow associated with this," added the town's chief administrative officer Geen Thazhampallath.

The proposal had bi-partisan support following at which Honeywell representatives briefed Town Council members on details of the project and answered questions.

The only concern was over adding $10.2 million in debt at a time when the town’s debt is already at uncomfortable levels and the budget is running a deficit.

Stratford is also preparing to borrow more than $6.9 million from the municipal bond markets to finance capital improvements such as new fire engines and road paving.

But Town Council member Stephanie Philips (D-2) stressed that the projects comes with its own, low-cost financing through special state energy bonds that will reduce the overall rate to slightly over 2 percent.

The project includes roofs, boilers, windows, HVAC units, electrical equipment and lighting with energy-efficient alternatives, and installing insulation, boiler and air conditioning controls, solar panels, wind turbines and motion sensors to turn off lights when rooms aren’t in use.

Honeywell estimates savings from energy, operational and sustainability costs will amount to 12 percent for town buildings and 17 percent for town schools over the next 15 years.

The cities of Danbury, New Haven and Middletown have already signed similar energy performance guarantee contracts with Honeywell.

Do you think the guaranteed energy savings are worth the initial investment? Tell us in the comments section below.

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