On nights, weekends and other non-traditional office times, Mayor Ben Blake often returns to City Hall to focus on work when the building is unoccupied and not in active use.
“It seemed no matter what time I came back to the office, the building was always fully heated,” Blake said. “I know in my house we turn the thermostat down in the evening or when no one will be home in order to save on heating costs. I expect at least the same in our city buildings.”
Blake discovered that not only , but all city buildings were being heated to an average of 72 degrees, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. “I looked at improving this less-than-efficient system as an opportunity to drive waste out of City Government,” Blake said. He cited the Parson’s Government Center as an example of fuel inefficiency, “the Parson’s Building burns thirty-five gallons of fuel an hour.”
Blake met with the City Building Superintendent and set down a directive: have all city buildings on programmable thermostats or energy conservation mechanisms within two weeks.
This includes the , City Hall, the Fowler Memorial Building, West Shore Recreation Center, Margaret Egan Center, the Board of Health Building, Fannie Beach, Stern Hall, and the .
The efforts have already made considerable progress. “We’ve already purchased fifteen programmable thermostats through our energy management account and have begun installing them,” Blake said.
“I appreciate the teamwork we have seen with Public Works partnering on the effort and helping to drive us toward success.” While definite cost savings numbers are not yet available, it is expected that Blake’s program will save the City tens of thousands of dollars in heating and cooling costs over the next year.