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Summerside considering next move on energy audit recommendations

['Summerside City Hall']
['Summerside City Hall']

SUMMERSIDE - Summerside city council is considering a $3.6-million energy saving partnership with Honeywell.

Council discussed earlier this month night during its committee meeting.

In 2016, the city awarded Honeywell a contract to do an inventory of the city’s energy usage and to come up with a list of potential savings. If those improvements were approved, Honeywell would do the work.

Summerside spends $1.8 million annually on electricity for its properties.

Originally, Honeywell suggested $4.3 million in improvements that would save $418,000 per year and would have an overall payback of the project’s financing over 10.5 years. However, upon further discussion with the city the company eliminated a couple of its original suggestions, bringing the total project cost of $3.6 million, with an annual savings of $390,624 and an overall payback of 9.2 years.

Honeywell would guarantee its projections of the city’s energy savings for 15 years. If those projects are not realized, the company would cut a cheque to the city for the difference.

Honeywell’s recommended improvements are varied, but most of them revolve around replacing conventional lighting in city buildings and on streetlights with LEDs.

RELATED: City of Summerside is attempting to be more green

Coun. Tyler Desroches pointed out that the city already has a program to replace its lighting with LEDs, so he questioned why it needed the Honeywell partnership at all.

“How feasible is that project now without having that cash cow of streetlights in there?” asked Desroches.

He also suggested that city could just take out a loan on its own and use the money to replace the streetlights, without including a third party.

Rob Philpott, the city’s director of finance, responded by saying that while he took Desroches’ point, there are other benefits to working with Honeywell on this project than just the straight monetary savings. The timetable to completely replace streetlights with LEDs would be moved up an expected eight years, the city would benefit by having its staff to work with Honeywell’s technical expertise.

Council voted to move the issue to its next meeting for a decision.

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