With an eye on energy efficiency, New Canaan is planning to put $35,585 into new exterior lights of the train station’s platform and building downtown, officials said this week.
Electricity at the station nearly maxes out on each breaker, so New Canaan will replace the lights there with energy-efficient LED models, said Bill Oestmann, superintendent of buildings and fleet with the Department of Public Works.
The work hopefully will be done in August, Oestmann said during the June 17 meeting of the Board of Selectmen.
“And then that reduces the load tremendously and hopefully the breakers should not be an issue after that,” he said during the meeting, held in the training room at the New Canaan Police Department. “We are also looking at an anticipated return on investment of 9 percent. So looking at over five years, that’s about a $16,000 savings on electric.”
For eight municipal buildings, New Canaan participates in the small business category of an energy efficiency program from Energize CT that’s administered through Connecticut Light & Power. It includes free assessments from designated contractors that detail energy efficiency and cost savings.
Watt usage is critically important, First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said, as the very low rate that New Canaan had negotiated with its supplier is due to rise sharply.
Oestmann said: “All things being equal, if our rates go up and our watt usage goes down, we may come close to the same numbers.”
The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved the $35,585 contract with Electric Lighting & Maintenance for exterior lighting at the train station (not the parking lot, just the building and platform).
Selectman Beth Jones said in talking to the New Canaan Utilities Commission and Conservation Commission, an idea was floated about having one employee specifically in charge of energy savings. “They think we could pay for it 10 times over if we start looking at all of our individual energy costs, the schools and everywhere.”
Selectman Nick Williams said that although New Canaan has no municipal employee assigned exclusively to the task, Oestmann himself stays abreast of developments and spends a lot of time thinking about ways to conserve.