The Municipal Energy Fund was established in 1998 to be a self-sustaining source of funds for investment in energy-efficient retrofits at city facilities, so the City could continually reduce its operating costs over time. The City operates 60 facilities and spends $4.5 million per year on energy (out of an annual budget of $288 million in 2005). The Fund is administered by the City’s Energy Office under the supervision of a three-person board, which must approve all projects. The Fund has invested in street light improvements, parking garage lighting, a boiler, two electric vehicles, and photovoltaic cells.
The Energy Fund demonstrates that energy efficiency can pay for itself in the long term. By providing the difficult up-front costs and then capturing 80% of the resulting savings, the Fund not only motivates facility managers to move forward with energy efficient projects, but has the ability to become sustainable in 3-5 years requiring no additional annual appropriations. The Energy Fund projects not only save facilities/departments operating dollars, but also improve the comfort and appearance of City facilities.
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