FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Capital Plaza Tower, home to 1,100 state workers employed by the Environmental and Public Protection, Commerce, Economic Development and Education cabinets is receiving new light fixtures and other energy efficiency upgrades that will pay for themselves in six years and reduce the state’s future utility costs.
In an effort to improve the energy efficiency of aging state-owned buildings, like the Capital Plaza Tower, the Finance and Administration Cabinet has initiated the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) to accomplish capital improvements with limited funding. The tower was built in the early 1970s and has never been renovated.
The ESPC project at the Capital Plaza Tower began in March 2004 and is scheduled for completion by the end of September. The scope of the project includes the replacement of 9,891 original light fixtures; installation of low water usage toilets and faucets; addition of energy efficient pumps; agriculture meters to reduce sewer charges; and improvements to the energy management system, which saves both heating and cooling costs. The Commonwealth annually spends more than $120 million for utilities at state facilities and universities. The state pays approximately $500,000 per year in utility costs for the Capital Plaza Tower.
As a result of these improvements, the Commonwealth will save an estimated 2.9 million kilowatt hours of electricity; 574,000 cubic feet of natural gas; and 1.6 million gallons of water each year at the Capital Plaza Tower.
This project, which has a total cost of $892,747, will produce energy savings of $1,016,860 and maintenance savings of $318,956 over the next six years. In addition, the Commonwealth will realize annual savings of $222,636 after the completion of the six-year payback period.
"These much needed improvements are providing a better, more efficient working environment for our employees while saving the state’s dollars and conserving energy and natural resources," Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary Robbie Rudolph said. "That’s a significant return on our investment."
Announcements like this, are just one of several environmental themed events that state government agencies are planning in honor of Earth Day, which was April 22. Spearheaded by the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC), the various cabinets have organized family hikes, state government open houses, public library displays, Read to Achieve Earth Day readings, as well as tree planting and water testing events. For additional information on these activities and many others please refer to the state’s comprehensive Earth Day Web site at www.environment.ky.gov/earthday.
This is the first time a statewide Earth Day campaign has been organized by state government. "We in state government have a special responsibility to be good stewards of Kentucky's air, water and land," said EPPC Secretary LaJuana S. Wilcher. "Earth day is an opportunity for state government agencies to review their practices and take action to make Kentucky a better place to live, work and play."
"As Governor of this great Commonwealth, I want to set an appropriate example to all of Kentucky’s families," stated Governor Ernie Fletcher. "The activities surrounding Earth Day provide an excellent opportunity for government leaders to reveal the importance of caring for our planet."