W.F. to Consider Energy-Saving Plan; Make Money Long-Term

Wichita Falls city councilors will consider a way to upgrade the city's lighting and HV/AC facilities ... save energy ... and actually end up *making* money in the long run.
    An energy consultant has proposed a plan, where the city will spend about five million dollars on upgrades at city hall ... The health department ... the library ... Central Services ... And MPEC.
    But the cost would be paid for through annual savings.
    The consultant has guaranteed one point six million dollars in cost savings -- through reduced energy bills and lower maintenance expenses over 15 years.
   5.1 million dollars -- a big chunk of change by most any standard.  So, would it be worth it for the city of Wichita Falls?
  "Definitely!  We are very excited about it!  And the reason for that is we've got HV/AC units that we need to upgrade & get that equipment replaced."
   Chief Financial Officer Jim Dockery says it would be a win-win.
   "Anytime you can upgrade your facilities with new equipment, & provide enough savings in your energy budget to pay for the cost of that equipment, it's basically a no-cost situation for the city."
   After what Dockery calls the "budget neutral" first 12 years ... he says the savings will last through the equipment's lifetime -- which he says is expected to be 15 or 20 years.
   "They guarantee that the savings will be there, & then after the equipment is put in, we'll analyze the savings & make sure that what they've guaranteed to us actually materializes in our budget."
   If *not* ... Dockery says the consultant will be required to pay the city back.  The "15 year guarantee" means the city will save enough to pay the cost of debt service -- *plus* generate more than one point six million dollars in additional savings over 15 years.
    The city already has some money budgeted and expects to get some grant money ...
    So if councilors approve the plan, the city would borrow about 4 point four million dollars, and pay it back over 13 years with the annual savings.

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