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Town Council Approves Honeywell Energy Conservation Program

"Over 15 years the project will completely pay for itself," said Mayor John A. Harkins.

The Stratford Town Council has approved an agreement with Honeywell Corp. that guarantees millions of dollars in energy conservation savings over the next 15 years.

The Town Council voted unanimously for the 15-year energy performance guarantee project at its meeting Monday in Town Hall.

The town must authorize borrowing in excess of $10 million for the project, but Honeywell estimates Stratford would receive about $14 million in savings and guarantees $11 million in savings.

Combined with grants, incentives from utility companies and special financing for energy efficiency improvements, town officials said the project is a winner for taxpayers.

"Over 15 years the project will completely pay for itself," said Mayor John A. Harkins.

"There’s a positive cash flow associated with this," added the town's chief administrative officer Geen Thazhampallath.

The proposal had bi-partisan support following at which Honeywell representatives briefed Town Council members on details of the project and answered questions.

The only concern was over adding $10.2 million in debt at a time when the town’s debt is already at uncomfortable levels and the budget is running a deficit.

Stratford is also preparing to borrow more than $6.9 million from the municipal bond markets to finance capital improvements such as new fire engines and road paving.

But Town Council member Stephanie Philips (D-2) stressed that the projects comes with its own, low-cost financing through special state energy bonds that will reduce the overall rate to slightly over 2 percent.

The project includes roofs, boilers, windows, HVAC units, electrical equipment and lighting with energy-efficient alternatives, and installing insulation, boiler and air conditioning controls, solar panels, wind turbines and motion sensors to turn off lights when rooms aren’t in use.

Honeywell estimates savings from energy, operational and sustainability costs will amount to 12 percent for town buildings and 17 percent for town schools over the next 15 years.

The cities of Danbury, New Haven and Middletown have already signed similar energy performance guarantee contracts with Honeywell.

Do you think the guaranteed energy savings are worth the initial investment? Tell us in the comments section below.

ragamuffin August 09, 2011 at 05:36 PM
It should be noted that adding $10.2 million in debt is a given regardless. What is included in the energy contract for updating/replacement for our town facilities would have shown up in the town's Capital Improvement bonding packages, and at a higher interest rate with political wrangling thrown in for added fun. The town does not begin to pay for this investment until all the upgrades and replacements have been made. A correction to the article: The interest rate for this package is under 2% - at 1.8%. This is a win/win for the town.
George E. Mulligan August 09, 2011 at 05:53 PM
It's likely I would support this program TAX PAYERS had DUE PROCESS of DISSEMINATED detailed information & HEARINGS. - Once again the Town Council acts-with "trust me" Press coverage. - This Town Council authorized upto $ 103 million on May 9 + 23, with Administration's Finance pulling Bait & Switches, likely violating F.O.I. 1. May 9: Bonding from $ 25 to $ 40 million, with $ 25 m, being on agenda. 2. May 23: Sewer fee $ 280 to $ 345 annually. I was the ONLY Public Forum speaker & specifically against the posted $ 280 annual fee! I asked where did the $ 5.4 million go from the prior year's Sewer Fee, when 1986 the entire Sewer cost was $ 45,000 interest on Bond. Mrs. Meuse and Mr. Catalano are the only 2 elected people I would likely endorse, for re-election, along with Chris Sylhavey (I do not think he is running) Mrs. Meuse is moving out of state to her home state. I believe her work on this is excellent and a town service. However ..... . Who among you likes to sign a contract without knowing details? . Who among you likes $ 114 million Bonding May 9 to Aug 8, when the Stock Market dropped $ 512 Thursday & $ 634 Monday, with the DJIA being down 20 % from the high, by the end of Monday? . Having written the above I BELIEVE IT IS LIKELY, VERY LIKELY that this MAYBE the BEST USE of BONDING, short of cleaning up AVCO & buying the AIRPORT. - Actually, it's likely the B E S T use of BONDING. . However DUE PROCESS & TRANSPARENCY should be obeyed!
George E. Mulligan August 10, 2011 at 01:28 PM
BIDDING + PUBLIC HEARINGS DUE PROCESS & TRANSPARENCY should be obeyed!

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