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Norwalk City Hall Upgrades Equipment To Be More Energy Efficient, Cut Costs

Norwalk Buildings and Facilities Manager Alan Lo displays the new energy-efficient condensing boilers installed at City Hall. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
Andre Campbell installs the new energy-efficient light fixtures in City Hall. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
Councilman John Kydes announces new heating and lighting upgrades at Norwalk City Hall designed to reduce the city's carbon footprint and its energy costs. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk officials gathered Friday to celebrate new energy conservation efforts at City Hall that they say will save the city money and reduce its carbon footprint.

The project spearheaded by the Mayor’s Energy and Environment Task Force will see more than 2,000 fluorescent light fixtures at City Hall replaced with high efficiency T8 bulbs. The city has also replaced two 27- year-old boilers in City Hall’s basement with three new condensing boilers. The new fixtures are expected to save the city thousands of dollars a year in energy costs.

“We’ve dramatically reduced City Hall’s energy costs with little out-of-pocket expense, which is key for any municipality,” said Councilman John Kydes, chairman of the Energy and Environment Task Force.

The new bulbs and their installation will cost about $320,000, about half of which is being paid for in incentive funds by CL&P. The new boilers will cost $280,000, with Yankee Gas providing about $60,000 in incentive funds. The bulbs are expected to save the city about $50,000 a year in electricity costs, and the boilers are expected to save the city $30,000 a year.

“The good news to taxpayers is that we spend tremendous amounts of money over the years,” said Mayor Harry Rilling. “The initial expenditure that we’re making now is going to pay dividends down the road and it is going to be a quick turnaround in recouping our money.”

The two boilers have already been installed, and installation of the new bulbs began Thursday and is expected to take a week or so, according to Alan Lo, the city’s buildings and facilities manager. Lo said the new boilers run at 96 percent efficiency, as opposed to the old boilers that ran at 84 percent efficiency. He said the new boilers have a lifespan of about 25 years.

Ronald Araujo of Northeast Utilities said that the savings from the new equipment goes beyond energy bills.

“The technology that’s being installed here today reduces the amount of times it has to be maintained, the lighting doesn’t have to be changed out as frequently. That translates to savings in maintenance dollars above and beyond what’s being done on the energy front,” he said.

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