Oakland County Taxpayers to See Significant Savings From Energy Efficiency Retrofit

Pontiac, MI, November 16, 2010 – Oakland County will save taxpayers $627,000 a year on utility bills for county buildings when it completes a series of energy efficiency retrofit projects that were identified during a just-completed energy audit.

These energy savings are part of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson’s OakGreen Program and Challenge announced in May to encourage local governments, businesses and residents to reduce their energy consumption 10% by the end of 2012.

“Oakland County continues to lead by example,” said Patterson. “We set out to challenge others to reduce their energy consumption. We talked the talk, now we’re walking the walk.”

Some examples of pending energy efficiency retrofit projects in Oakland County government buildings include:

  • Enhancing building envelopes (e.g., new weather stripping, window replacement, additional insulation)
  • Replacing older, inefficient heating and cooling systems
  • Lighting system retrofits (e.g., replacing T12 fluorescent bulbs with more efficient T8s; LED outdoor parking lot lighting replacements)
  • Expanding energy management system use (e.g., monitoring energy usage; controlling on/off time for heating and cooling systems)


The $200,000 audit, conducted by Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc. (FTCH) was paid for out of a $4.8 million Energy Efficiency & Conversation Block Grant (EECBG) from the U.S. Department of Energy. FTCH identified more than $3.5 million worth of energy retrofit projects, of which at least $2.5 million will be paid for by the grant. The county’s contract with FTCH is extendable to local cities, villages and townships. In other words, local governments can take advantage of the county’s negotiated rates and competitive bidding process.

“The county will issue a series of RFPs (Requests for Proposal) between December and February for energy retrofit products and services,” said Art Holdsworth, Oakland County’s director of Facilities Management. “We are looking forward to starting and completing the upgrades.”

Oakland County began reducing its energy consumption in 2005 with various energy management techniques and devices. Since then, Oakland County taxpayers have saved more than $4 million in utility bills.

When Patterson issued the OakGreen Challenge, he said that Oakland County already has an energy conservation goal in place. By forming an in-house “Green Team” and issuing a comprehensive set of energy management procedures (http://www.oakgov.com/fm/program_services/), the county is on its way towards reducing its energy bills 15% by 2015. The National Association of Counties recognized Oakland County’s Facilities Management Department with an award this year for the formation of its Green Team.

The mission of Patterson’s OakGreen Program and Challenge is to provide businesses, communities and residents the knowledge and tools to reduce expenses and embrace the “Triple Bottom Line” of sustainability. That means meeting present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. To that end, many businesses and governments are adopting a “Triple Bottom Line” approach of evaluating economic, environmental, and community factors into the definition of their energy conservation success. For more information on the OakGreen Program and Challenge, go to http://www.oakgov.com/oakgreen/.

About Tom and Ann Gendich

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