The Clay County Courthouse will soon be more energy efficient.
Lt. Governor Becky Skillman recently announced 46 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG), totaling $3.35 million, have been awarded to 37 cities towns and counties for energy efficiency upgrades to public facilities.
Clay County was awarded $71,500 to retrofit 307 lighting units at the Clay County Courthouse, Clay County Justice Center and Clay County Highway Department.
According to the project description, the total wattage of the lights to be retrofitted is 68,188 kilowatts (kW). After replacement, the total wattage of these units will be reduced to approximately 41,537.
Using the figures determined by an energy audit, the average cost per kilowatt hour (kWh) at the Courthouse from July 2008-June 2009 was $0.073 per kWh. With an estimated range of 90,585-142,776 kWh saved annually, the cost savings per year is estimated to be between $6,612 and $10,422.
With the complete cost of the project being paid by the grant, the estimated savings will be coming straight off the county's expense sheet.
"There is no cost to the county, and while it is not a huge amount of savings, every little bit is helpful with the tightness of the county's budget," Clay County Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh told The Brazil Times. "The new lights have a life expectancy of 20 years, so there is the potential for even more savings down the road because they may not have to be replaced as often."
The retrofitted light fixtures also have a "green" side to them as they will also reduce the Greenhouse Gas Emissions anywhere from 83-138 metric tons annually.
The project of retrofitting the lights must be completed by Dec. 31, 2010, but could be done in by the end of summer.
"The grant program is very restrictive on its timeline," Alumbaugh said. "However, once the grant contract is signed, the process could move very quickly."
According to the generic project timeline, the equipment may be ordered two weeks after the signed grant contract is received, and should take about a month to arrive. Installation -- which should begin the same week the equipment is delivered -- could take up to two months to complete.
Alumbaugh told The Brazil Times part of the grant procurement process requires the county to set up a separate fund specifically for the grant monies.
The EECBG is funded through the United States Department of Energy and Indiana Office of Energy Development.
Some of the other cities, towns and counties in the area receiving funding include:
* City of Greencastle -- $42,687 for Traffic Signal Retrofits,
* City of Linton -- $36,059 for Traffic Signal Retrofits,
* Town of Shelburn -- $27,000 for Lighting Retrofits and $74,410 for Structure Retrofits for Government-Owned Structures,
* Sullivan County -- $22,194 for Lighting Retrofits and $199,000 for Structure Retrofits for Government-Owned Structures,
* City of Farmersburg -- $91,486 for Structure Retrofits for Government-Owned Structures, and
* City of Sullivan -- $99,875 for Structure Retrofits for Government-Owned Structures.
Skillman will preside over an award ceremony for grant recipients at 2 p.m., March 26, in the North Atrium of the Indiana State House.