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Officials Look to Cut Wilton's Energy Use

WILTON, Conn. – It’s up to the employees to change how the town is using energy, the Board of Selectmen was told at a meeting Monday night.

“The literature suggests that behavioral changes can save between 5 (percent) and 10 percent of the facility's energy. And they’re the same things you would do in your homes,” said Bruce Hampson, chair of the Wilton Energy Commission.

Getting people who work in municipal buildings – such as the police and fire departments, Town Hall and the schools – to examine their energy usage is the next step, Hampson said.

“Just like we’re doing in our homes, the awareness that you’ve got to personally take action is something that we’ve got to drive,” said Selectman Hal Clark.

Currently, many changes are being made from the top down. But Hampson suggested making one person in each facility an “energy champion” and putting them in charge of keeping track of energy use and promoting energy efficiency.

“We’ve got to look at better ways to do it,” First Selectman Bill Brennan said. “We’re pleased at what we’ve accomplished thus far, but we need to step it up.”

Already the Energy Commission has implemented several initiatives, paid for with state grants, to save energy in town buildings. One grant for $76,000 allowed the Energy Commission to hire a consultant, who found that boilers at the Fire Department and the annex building on the Town Hall campus were running all year. All it took to save energy, Hampson said, was to install thermostats to regulate the temperature and turn off the boilers.

All of the initiatives were completed recently, so Hampson said no estimates have been made on how much the town has saved. He expects have a full report for the selectmen later this month.

“But the biggest bang for the buck was not using the boilers when it was 80 degrees out,” Hampson said.

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