Sand Springs City Hall Going Green

Sunday, September 19th 2010, 8:58 pm
By: News On 6

By Lacie Lowry, The News On 6

SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma -- A quarter of a million dollars will soon turn Sand Springs City Hall into an energy-efficient machine. The project will save taxpayers money on energy bills and set an example for residents.

"It makes perfect sense to replace that old, antiquated, subject-to-break-down equipment with new equipment that is energy conserving," said Vernon Smith with the Sand Springs Public Works Department.

Vernon Smith has worked for the city of Sand Springs for three decades. He said the last renovation to city hall was in the early 80s.

City leaders can drastically reduce costs by retrofitting the lighting system with smaller bulbs that eat up less energy, but put out just as much light, and by replacing the bulky heating and cooling equipment with smaller units that work smarter, not harder.

Smith estimates the current utility bill at nearly $50,000 a year.

"It looks to me like we can save close to 50 percent on our energy costs going forward," said Smith.

The city also plans to revamp the traffic signals by replacing the current bulbs, that only last one or two years, with LED bulbs that can last seven to 10 years. Those bulbs will also cut the energy consumption to 12 percent of the current usage.

The city hopes these steps will set a good example for residents.

"The public will see 'Good grief, if the city can save this much money, then I can find ways to save money in my business or in my home,'" said Smith.

In November, a city panel will meet to come up with a master plan. They hope to start making those changes early next year.

The money to pay for all these upgrades is coming from a federal stimulus grant of $230,000 for energy efficiency improvements. The city's share of the project cost is $12,000.