Funding Infrastructure Upgrades with Energy Savings

Funding Infrastructure Upgrades with Energy Savings

The reports are clear: American infrastructure is in rough shape. From water and wastewater systems to transportation, much needed investments are being put off due to the tough economy and tight state and municipal budgets. There are still ways to get important work done, but it takes creativity, as the Freeport Sewer District in Freeport, ME recently proved.

Freeport pursued an aggressive energy use reduction program to generate significant cash savings, allowing the District to pursue important upgrades without raising rates. Woodard & Curran worked with Freeport to conduct an energy use assessment that identified opportunities to save. An economic analysis found that the two most promising were an upgrade to the pumps and blowers used in its wastewater treatment process and improved insulation and air sealing of its facility.

To fund the work, Freeport and Woodard & Curran pursued grant funding from the Efficiency Maine Trust and a State Revolving Loan Fund. Together, these covered the capital cost of the projects. The savings exceed the cost of capital, so the upgrades were cash positive from day one.

Freeport improved the reliability and performance of its treatment process and created a more energy-efficient building with no cost passed on to rate payers. The savings also allowed the District to pursue other long-term projects, including a strategic plan that will guide it well into the future.

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Municipal Wastewater

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