Study Finds City Of Tulsa Is Wasting Energy

Thursday, October 27th 2011, 10:09 pm
By: News On 6

Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The City of Tulsa uses a lot of energy each year, and a new study shows some of that it wasted.

The city hired an auditor to go over the utility bills, and then figure out where energy dollars are being wasted. The Mayor says the savings will start right away.

Of all the places the City of Tulsa uses energy - the water treatment plants use the most - a full 30 percent of the total energy bill for city government.

That's why the pumps and motors the city buys are tops on the target list for energy efficiency. As it is now not all of them are the most efficient model, and some pump water around the clock.

"Is there a better way , is there a better time to pump water, is there a way to change the process to decrease our peak energy demand to decrease?" said Brett Fidler, City Sustainability Director.

That's just one of the areas under examination in a new 200 page study on how the city of Tulsa can save energy and money.

The study costs $200,000, but the company that produced it says Tulsa could easily save $1 million of the $20 million spent each year on energy.

"What we generally see with cities is anywhere from 5 to 15 percent annual savings," said Mike Hoffman, Project Manager.

The study recommends the city buy more natural gas cars and trucks, and speed up the conversion to LED traffic signals and street lights.

The study says just turning off more lights at City Hall could save $28 thousand dollars a year. And back at the water treatment plants - the study says the city should buy the most efficient equipment to save money over the long term.

As it is now, the City usually buys what's cheapest upfront.

"But that's not always the best thing to do. Sometimes it's better to pay more upfront for something than over the long haul, the life of the product it will be less expensive to maintain and less expensive to utilize.

The city has tried before to save energy, but this is the first blueprint showing exactly where to start," said Mayor Dewey Bartlett.

The city has $1 million dollars set aside to spend on efficiency projects to get it started.

12/22/2010 Related Story: City Of Tulsa Names Firm To Develop Sustainability Plan