City of Rome teams with energy efficiency company to make citywide upgrades

ROME, N.Y. - Looking to optimize the city's financial and energy resources, the city of Rome has selected Johnson Controls, the global multi-industrial leader in energy efficiency and sustainability, to provide energy efficient upgrades to multiple facilities throughout the city, including the installation of a state-of-the-art aeration system at its wastewater treatment plant.

The improvements are part of a 15-year performance contract with Johnson Controls, which is expected to save the city more than $8.5 million in energy costs. The city has already found more than $246,000 in savings during the construction period, which was completed in October 2009.

The energy program upgrades include the installation of an energy efficient diffused aeration system at the wastewater treatment plant, replacing a 30-year-old mechanical system that was inefficient in handling increased demand for waste treatment. Additional improvements include the installation of variable speed drives on low-lift pumps at the Water Filtration Plant, advanced data tracking management tools and lighting retrofits, designed to improve overall energy efficiency while saving taxpayer dollars.

The project has also been recognized both locally and nationally for its energy improvements, being named the 2009 Environmental Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (Central New York Chapter) and awarded the 2009 Municipal Achievement Award by the New York Water Environment Association.

"It is crucial that we use energy at all of our facilities as efficiently as possible," Mayor James Brown, said, "both for economical and for ecological reasons. Through our partnership with Johnson Controls, we've been able to lower our costs and reduce our energy consumption while at the same time strengthening our ability to support the needs of current and future customers."

The energy conservation plan is part of a performance contract with Johnson Controls, which enables the city to significantly reduce its utility costs and carbon footprint. The cost savings generated will repay the project capital investment over the term of the contract without increasing its operating budget.

"Energy efficiency has never been more important, especially to communities like Rome," said Chris Kalwara, account executive, Johnson Controls.
"Through performance contracting and other financing methods, we were able to help bring the finest in wastewater treatment plant technology to the city while generating energy cost savings."

Additional facilities throughout the city that received energy upgrades include City Hall, City Yard, Rome Arts Center, the central fire station, police department offices and several other municipal buildings.

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