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Charlotte Town Hall Saves Energy & Saves Money

 
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Photo credit: Suzy Hodgson

Source: Charlotte Energy Committee

The Charlotte Energy Committee hired the company Building Energy to perform an energy audit of Charlotte’s16-year old Town Hall in 2010. The audit included an analysis of current fuel and electrical use, measuring where and how the building was leaking air using two blower door fans, infrared imaging, identifying how much insulation was present, testing the safety and efficiency of the boiler, and assessing existing lighting and electrical appliances.

Building Energy summarized the findings in a report that included a prioritized list of recommendations which specified the estimated costs and savings. The Energy Committee used this report to apply for funding through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Gran(EECBG) Program. A $25,560 grant was secured, a scope of work was identified, and the project went out to bid.

The energy improvements included installing a drywall air barrier above the acoustical ceiling tiles, re-insulating the knee walls of the meeting room, upgrading two light fixtures, and installing two new energy recovery ventilators (ERVs). Building Energy returned to the Town Hall after the improvements to measure the air leakage and balance the airflow from the ERVs. The results were:

  • 38% reduction in air leakage (see more information below)
  • Estimated 24% in annual heat energy savings which is equal to +/- 500 gallons of oil and 5 tons of carbon dioxide

Plugging the holes - air leakage was reduced by 38% in Charlotte's Town Hall with estimated annual heat savings of 24%, equal to 500 gallons of oils and 5 tons of CO2 in 2011. Over the past five years, Charlotte has continued to save money and keep its reliance on oil low. Whether oil costs $4.00 per gallon as it was in 2012 or $2.25 as it's been more recently, the cost savings are real and quantifiable and show that energy efficiency continues to pay. Charlotte continues to move away from relying on solely fossil fuels with more energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

Energy Committee member David Pill noted “We were pleased with how receptive the Town was to undergoing the energy efficiency retrofit considering the disruption which is inevitable during any renovation of this nature. The project was definitely a concerted group effort with Charlotte's energy committee, Dean Bloch, Select Board members and the contractors Building Energy and Northeast Construction.”