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Resource Efficiency and Conservation
Resource Efficiency and Conservation means fostering sustainable consumption and production by leading local efforts to ensure natural resources are produced, processed, and consumed in a more sustainable way. The City of Fayetteville strives to achieve this through management of daily operations, community programs, and economic development.
Environmental Purchasing Policy
In conjunction with the City’s Purchasing Division an Environmental Purchasing Policy was developed to help departments emphasize the need for Life Cycle Assessment of purchasing decisions made. This includes looking at the full-cycle economic benefits as well as the environmental benefits.
Fuel Conservation Policy
In 2007, each of the major departments developed a Fuel Conservation Policy specific to the characteristics of their operational requirements. The policy focused primarily on rules for idling of government vehicles, but also included an emphasis on the tools and additional weight carried in vehicles on a daily basis.
Green Building Policy
In October 2007, City Council unanimously approved a resolution that requires all new, city-owned buildings greater than 5,000 square feet to meet the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Standard (LEED-Silver). Buildings less than 5,000 square feet must follow the LEED-Silver principles for construction and design.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory
Using ICLEI’s Clean Air and Climate Protection (CACP) Software, the City of Fayetteville established its Emissions Baseline for Government Operations as the year 2006. The baseline included energy used in all government buildings, street lights, water and sewer operations, fleet use and employee commuting. The CACP software converts the kilowatt-hours from electricity, cubic feet from natural gas, and gallons from fuel consumed into a standard carbon-dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq), which allows the City to monitor total energy use on an annual basis and its impact on climate change. The baseline data revealed that the City was responsible for 47,000 tons of (Co2-eq) in 2006.
The Office of Sustainability is responsible for monitoring the Emissions Inventory on an annual basis in order to better understand where energy is being consumed and how technology upgrades and conservation initiatives are impacting these areas.
In 2007, the focus was primarily on existing conditions and habits for consuming energy within local government operations. The GHG Inventory helps to provide information about the specific energy consumers within City operations. For example, the City’s Streetlight Program costs about $500,000 a year through the 100+ lights the City owns and operates along with the large volume of lights contracted with American Electric & Power (a.k.a. SWEPCO). With LED streetlights becoming more viable the potential for cost savings in this area is significant.
The GHG Inventory also groups water and sewer pumps, which consume large amounts of energy, but are difficult to improve efficiency versus buildings which have many areas that can be upgraded on an incremental basis.
With this information in hand, an audit of the primary City buildings was performed to identify areas for improvement. Initial findings included quick opportunities for cost reductions including better use of control systems and installation of motion sensors in City Hall as well as the installation of programmable thermostats in Solid Waste, which had less than a one year payback.
Energy Performance Contract
In 2007, the City reached an agreement with Johnson Controls, Inc. to develop an energy performance contract. JCI audited ten City buildings, the water meter program and the City’s Streetlight agreement with American Electric Power. JCI has developed a list of energy efficiency measures that can be implemented and will guarantee the savings over a specific period of time.
The Office of Sustainability continues to review best practices for energy efficiency from other local governments around the country. Examples include an Energy Fund developed by the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan; LED Streetlight testing occurring in numerous communities throughout the US; and ways to improve the use of renewable energy in Fayetteville such as Berkeley FIRST; a unique financing mechanism for solar panels.