Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, in the heart of the Bluegrass Region of central Kentucky, has purchased EnergyCAP energy efficiency software with stimulus funds from a U.S. DOE Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG).
The city/county government, which hired its first full-time energy manager in 2009, is currently in the early stages of implementation. According to Blaine Clapper of EnergyCAP, Lexington-Fayette had been considering purchasing a more robust utility management system for some time, but tight budgets in recent years had been a concern. “The availability of block grant funds was a key factor in making this project happen,” said Clapper. “It’s a smart investment for Lexington.”
Regarding how much money the government will save using EnergyCAP, Clapper noted that it is common for first-year savings and cost recoveries to exceed 1% of the user’s annual utility budget, even if aggressive energy management programs have been in place for some time. In 2008, the city spent over $10 million on natural gas and electricity in government operations.
James Bush, Lexington-Fayette’s energy manager, is looking forward to the project. “Up until now, our utility bills and energy use have largely been kept separate. EnergyCAP will allow the city to better manage its energy use to control costs and identify opportunities for additional savings,” said Bush.
The purpose of the EECBG is to:
– Reduce fossil fuel emissions in a manner that is environmentally sustainable and, to the maximum extent practicable, maximizes benefits for local and regional communities;
– Reduce the total energy use of the eligible entities; and
– Improve energy efficiency in the building sector, the transportation sector, and other appropriate sectors.