Columbus – Keeping with the policy enacted by Franklin County Commissioners in 2006 to protect environmental sustainability while advancing economic growth, Franklin County will implement major energy efficiency and conservation upgrades at four county buildings in Columbus using $10 million in financing from the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA). The energy project was approved at the March OAQDA meeting.
Under the financing package, OAQDA authorized Air Quality Development Bonds for issuance as Series A federally tax-exempt bonds and Series B Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECB) federal tax credit bonds. OAQDA is the administering authority in Ohio for QECB bond financing.
Franklin County selected Johnson Controls to implement a portion of the project. Energy conservation installations included in the project are a lighting retrofit at Veteran’s Memorial; boiler replacements at the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center; airhandling unit fan replacements at the Franklin County Courthouse; and installation of additional heating system expansion tanks for the Juvenile Detention Center and Franklin County Courthouse. These upgrades will generate $308,217 in annual utility cost savings while also avoiding the annual emission of 2,270 tons of carbon dioxide.
The county also contracted with Ameresco to install energy conservation and efficiency upgrades at the Franklin County Correctional Center II. The new facilities will include chillers, boiler replacement and water heat recovery, pumps, air handling units, variablespeed kitchen hood controls, a laundry ozone system, water conservation measures, transformer replacement and a direct-digital energy management system. These upgrades will deliver $349,505 in annual utility cost savings and also result in avoided annual emissions of 1,245 tons of carbon dioxide.
“QECB financing through OAQDA presented the county with an ideal solution to address a host of energy infrastructure projects at a number of our facilities. The improvements that will stem from these projects will have a significant, positive impact both on these facilities for the people who visit and work there and on the county’s bottom line,” said John O’Grady, president, Franklin County Board of Commissioners.
Todd Nein, OAQDA interim executive director, said Franklin County joins a growing list of local governments and public universities across Ohio that are taking advantage of QECB financing to make energy conservation and efficiency upgrades to their facilities.
“We are pleased that OAQDA is furthering its mission of helping keep Ohio’s air clean through the QECB program. The reduced air emissions this project will make possible will benefit all residents of central Ohio, and the utility cost savings are an added benefit to Franklin County taxpayers,” Nein said.