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Huber Heights Making Energy-Saving Upgrades To City Infrastructure

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Chris Welter
/
WYSO
Huber Heights City Government Building

Huber Heights is the latest city in the Miami Valley to implement something called a Guaranteed Energy Savings Performance Contract, or GESPC.

Cities consume lots of resources — usually in the form of electricity, natural gas and water — and a lot of that expensive energy is lost— to inefficiency. That’s where a GESPC comes in. A firm affiliated with Vectren has been hired by Huber Heights and is currently doing an energy audit of all of the city’s facilities, traffic control systems, and street lights to see what improvements can be made to save money. The firm will provide a cost estimate for the replacements, and then make the improvements.

“The replacements are going to function in a much more efficient and effective way so we use the savings we would normally pay for electricity or gas or whatever utilities,"says Bryan Chodkowski, the Huber Heights Assistant City Manager. "We would use those savings to pay the debt for the cost of those improvements. ”

The contract is also guaranteed — which means that if the firm estimates that a replacement will save $10,000 a year and it only saves $8,000, the firm will cut a check to the city for the difference. Chodkowski says the project will be defined in about 90 days, and then it will take about six months for the improvements to be put in place.

Environmental reporter Chris Welter is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.