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Energy Conservation Plan

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
 
The purpose of this policy is to introduce cost-effective, energy-efficient technologies into County facilities and promote an energy conscious culture that encourages prudent decisions with regard to energy consumption.  In the bigger picture, the reduction in total energy demand will result across all County government operations, positively addressing escalated utility usage and costs.  This measure can help hedge against higher energy costs each budget year and promote a “greener” future for the County.
 
Energy conservation is the key element of this policy because of its potential to reduce overall energy demand, costs, and consumption.  Energy conservation also plays an important role in addressing climate change by lowering overall greenhouse gas emissions.  It is often the most economical strategy to advance climate protection efforts and provides an environmentally safe alternative to increased energy production and consumption.  Moreover, by lowering energy demand, energy conservation provides for greater flexibility in choosing preferred methods of energy production e.g., “green power” – renewable energy that is produced with no man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
 
The intended purpose of this plan is to ensure energy and resource efficiency are explicitly considered, examined, and executed throughout all County government facilities and County decision-making.  The efficient and conscientious use of energy by local government is essential to modeling good citizenship, accountability and service.  Local government has a responsibility to be a leader in workplace resource efficiency. 
 
This plan establishes and dictates guidelines for cost-efficient and sustainable resource consumption within all County facilities, while allowing the Facilities and Maintenance Department and the future Energy Conservation Team the opportunity to coordinate and manage the implementation and execution of this plan.  The majority of this information and analysis is described under the short-term and long-term activities that could be implemented to reduce energy consumption and reduce costs.
 
Although it is not discussed in this plan, there is a positive impact to the environment when energy saving activities occur.  Using a variety or resources, this plan will provide general efficiency techniques and methodologies that could be reasonably implemented in day to day functions within County facilities that will have an immediate effect on energy savings and costs.  This plan is not a static document and may be modified in the future to reflect emerging “best practice” energy conservation, and energy management strategies and initiatives.
 
 
Garrett County Government Energy Conservation Team Commitment
 
The Garrett County Facilities and Maintenance Department and the Energy Conservation Team established by this plan, will work collaboratively with the Board of County Commissioners and the County Administrator in developing, instituting energy guidelines and goals, and will work to disseminate information pertaining to energy conservation and the environment through implementation and management of this plan. 
 
The Energy Conservation Team along with future energy conservation consultants will meet with County employees to host and support this mission through educational awareness, as well as, the management of the plan.  Reducing energy consumption shall be a continuing priority with all County employees, and this message will be conveyed periodically to employees though educational awareness programs developed by the team and future energy conservation consultants contracted by the County. 
 
Our intention is to focus on balancing energy usage, to help reduce the carbon footprint of County facilities and manage budgetary concerns and costs.  Garrett County Government commits to significantly improve its energy management in order to maximize use of taxpayer dollars and maximize resource efficiency.  Garrett County Government further commits to continually seek ways to realize the full potential of current energy control systems as well as new equipment and upgrades and to accelerate the implementation process of behavioral and operational resource conservation measures.  This mission shall be reviewed continuously so that all County facilities objectives and goals can be attained and achieved.
 
The operational mechanism behind the plan will be the Department of Facilities and Maintenance working collaboratively with the Energy Conservation Team established by this plan and future energy consultants.  Working together as one, while increasing staff awareness on energy policies and plans, overall usage and costs, will positively assist in reducing energy consumption and assist in improving the environment, while reducing utility costs.
 
Establishment of Energy Conservation Team & Responsibilities
 
The Board of County Commissioners encourage and support the establishment of an Energy Conservation Team.  The team will consist of the following representation:
 
  • Facilities and Maintenance Department (2 members)
  • Purchasing Department (2 members)
  • Finance Department (1 member)
  • Department Public Utilities (1 member)
  • Solid Waste and Recycling (1 member)
  • IT (1 member)
  • Roads Department (1 member)
  • Risk Management (1 member)
 
On occasion, the team may assemble Technical Support Teams consisting of appropriate maintenance, custodial and facilities personnel from each County building or facility to assist in implementation of energy conservation initiatives.  Energy Conservation Team representation can be amended at any time.
 
Governors Initiative
 
In August 2007, Governor Martin O’ Malley announced and introduced statewide energy efficiency goals designed to save taxpayers money and reduce the carbon footprint within the State.  The Governors “Empower Maryland” initiative targets energy consumption reductions by 15% statewide, by the Year 2015.  The initiative is comprised of seven (7) steps to meet the targeted 2015 goal.  The following represents the Governors initiatives:
 
  • Improve Building Operations by energy reduction of 5 percent
 
  • Expand usage of Energy Performance contracting (ESPC)
 
  • Increase State Agency Loan Programmable
 
  • Require incorporation of Energy Efficient Buildings
 
  • Purchase and application of Energy Star Products
 
  • Expand Community Energy Loan Programmable
 
  • Ensure accountability
 
Introduction Summary on Conservation Plan Intent
 
The Board of County Commissioners and County Government representation understand and support an Energy Conservation Plan for all County facilities.  Prior to the Governors initiative on “Empowering Maryland” enacted in August 2007, with directive being focused on reduction of energy consumption, the County Commissioners approved an Energy Conservation Policy dated September 20, 1993.  It is the intent of the Board to repeal the 1993 Energy Conservation Policy and replace it with this approved plan.
 
The Energy Conservation Plan outline many measures the County has and may implement to become more energy efficient and reduce its energy consumption in meeting the Governors “Empower Maryland” initiative, which required energy consumption reductions in State and County facilities, being reduced 10-15% by 2015.
 
In conjunction with this plan a County Energy Conservation Team with representation from the majority of the County agencies has been formed to help implement, promote strategies, and convey the importance and significance of energy conservation within their individual facilities and to their coworkers and peers.  The County Energy Conservation Team will be chaired by the Facilities and Maintenance Manager.
 
To determine what types of energy efficient measures will be implemented, the County must first assess the current energy consumption of all County owned facilities.  Since benchmarks are not always consistent due to weather changes, equipment changes, etc, this may be a difficult task.  Therefore, this will be accomplished through third party facility and equipment audits, energy consumption reports produced by specialized software programs, benchmarking, and on-going evaluations, which will be administered by the Facilities and Maintenance Department in conjunction with the Energy Conservation Team.  Any of these initiatives may be funded by the County budget or through grant available funding or a combination thereof.
 
Implementation of energy efficiency and conservation measures in the County’s daily operations is essential for reducing energy consumption, as well as costs, which can conceivably, if achieved, re-direct savings to potentially fund energy programs and/or future energy upgrades, or funding to meet other County needs.  This plan demonstrates examples of energy efficient measures that can be applied against areas such as lighting, temperature control, infrastructure, purchasing, renewable energy, and alternative fuels.  Employee awareness is the key fundamental part of the plan.
 
We believe educating employees about the need for energy conservation, while additionally promoting behavioral modifications of staff, both coupled with energy measures within facilities, can all systematically make a difference regarding County facilities becoming more energy efficient, with reduction in costs.
 
The efforts put forth in preparing this plan are uniform with many other County agencies, both from a local and national perspective, regarding energy conservation programs.  The plan and its content is not intended to reduce basic necessities, such as lighting, heat, air conditioning, safety, or overall day to day operational characteristics required as necessities  by County employees in meeting performance standards of their daily activities within County facilities.  However, it is intended to promote and/or provide solutions to perform County required services, in the most cost effective and energy efficient manner regarding energy conservation.
 
The energy efficient measures described in this plan are potential and proven methods and measures that could be considered as absolutes, in reducing energy consumption, and costs.  Energy efficiency measures that are not included in this plan are encouraged to be brought forward and presented to the County Energy Conservation Team for review and potential implementation.
 
Program Goals and Initiatives
 
Key Initiatives
 
Reduction of energy consumption by 5% for Fiscal Year 2013, with an overall goal of reducing energy consumption by 15% by Fiscal Year 2015, meeting the Empower Maryland State Efficiency Goal mandated by Governor O’Malley in 2007.
 
  • Facility lighting accounts for approximately 1/3 of facilities electrical energy use, calculated to be 25-40% of overall electricity costs.  It is estimated that 8-20% of these lighting costs can be reduced by turning off the lights.
 
  • De-lamping offers Garrett County and its facilities the opportunity to conserve energy by simply removing one or more lamps from multiple lamp fixtures.  Based on National industry lighting calculations, each 36 watt fluorescent tube removed could achieve savings of approximately $8.00 per year, based on typical usage of 40 hours per week.  County energy savings through de-lamping processing could result in energy reductions and major cost savings.
 
  • Electrical loads for employee plug in convenience items commonly referred to as “Vampire or Phantom Loads” account for 20-25% of a facilities total energy use within office spaces, or valued per employee at approximately $100 per employee annually.  The reference devices could be cell phone chargers, radios with LED readouts, TVs, coffee pots and microwaves with LED readouts, IPOD’s, room air fresheners, etc.
 
  • Countywide personal computers (PC) account for the majority of County facilities electrical plug loads within office spaces.  Approximately $40.00 per PC per year can be saved with computers being turned off completely, to include evening time when not in use.  Further, disbarring any rumors that screen savers save energy is far from the truth, more complex screen savers increase energy use.
 
  • Within County facilities heating and cooling represents 30-50% of total energy costs.  All facilities, when in heating mode that utilize natural gas, propane, or fuel oil, still require electrical resources to operate.  Industry recommendations through analysis indicate that raising or lowering thermostats “one degree” can result in energy savings of 6% for facilities that use electricity as the primary energy source, and up to 4% for facilities that utilize fuel or heating oil.
 
  • Facility refrigerated vending drink and snack machines operate annually based on 24 hours per day, seven (7) days a week, 365 days per year are reported to consume approximately 2500-4500 kilowatt hours (kwh) of energy per year.  These machines additionally assist in adding supplement heat loads to facilities within the spaces they occupy.  The recommended method for achieving total energy savings relative to vending machines is to jointly work with the vendor during contract renewal to mandate installation of “Vending Misers”.  Additionally, within vending contract language, mandate de-lamping of vending machines.
 
  • Focus and emphasis on continued reduction of energy costs.
 
  • Development and “buy in” of the Energy Conservation Team to help provide stewardship of each member’s facility and in promoting energy conservation and reducing utility costs.
 
  • Educating employees on the importance and support of the County Energy Conservation Plan.  Involvement of staff is essential to develop and promote energy conservation techniques for County facilities.
 
  • Installation of Energy Star Products for electrical and HVAC upgrades to reduce energy consumption.
 
  • Searching out and applying for grants to support and promote energy conservation in all facilities.
 
  • Develop full and comprehensive procedures for purchasing Energy Star rated equipment.
 
A review of these proposed energy saving concepts should convey that the majority are classified in the energy management area as “low hanging fruit” that easily can be picked as easy wins in reducing energy consumption, while saving budgetary costs.
 
Implementation
 
This plan is supported by guidelines and procedures that institute and promote measurable energy reduction goals.  These guidelines and procedures through this plan are a structured approach to realize and achieve these goals through a combination of energy conservation upgrades, enhanced operational efficiencies, and employee behavioral modification changes and or actions.  It predicts a considerable reduction (i.e. “low hanging fruit”) in overall energy consumption for immediate and short term initiatives without the use of capital funding.  This plan and its content are not a static document and may be modified in the future to reflect emerging “best practice” energy conservation and energy management strategies and initiatives.  The plan and guidelines initiative also supports objectives that result in healthier building and enhanced worker comfort, both of which can contribute to greater workplace productivity.
 
Reducing energy consumption in County buildings shall include, but is not limited to, initiatives and guidelines set forth by the Facilities and Maintenance Department, County Energy Conservation Team and contracted energy conservation consultant and supported by the Board of County Commissioners and the County Administrator.  Energy control devices that incorporate artificial intelligence shall become an extensive part of this program so manual adjustments to control settings are not required on a regular basis.  Facilities shall be evaluated periodically, occasionally with the assistance of a contractual energy conservation consultant, and energy use will be reviewed to determine which buildings may become candidates for future energy projects.  Implementation of such capital projects shall be determined according to costs, availability of funds and estimated return on investment.  An analysis will be included with each project to show savings statistics.  Initiatives such as “Empower Maryland” set in place by the governor will impact our responsibility to conserve energy.  Emphasis on energy conservation must continue to assure initiatives and goals will be achieved.  Present and future rate increases have made it essential to be creative and resourceful to reduce energy consumption.
 
Energy Conservation Plan Overview
 
This energy conservation plan is being proposed as an effort to reduce and manage energy costs within Garrett County Government.  The Facilities and Maintenance Department and the County Energy Conservation Team will be responsible for monitoring utility usage and implementing and instituting the improvements and procedures, necessary to produce energy savings, cost avoidance, and reduction of unnecessary utility resources usage.  The acknowledgement and personal acceptance of this plan by each Garrett County Government employee and their individual ability to adhere to the plans recommendations, policies and procedures, and most important their adapting to the plans proposed behavioral modification aspects, will be the most important factor contributing to the success of this plan.
 
Within the plan, five (5) major utility cost contributors have been identified that must continuously be monitored and conserved: electric, fuel oil, natural gas, propane and water/sewerage.  With increases in rates and the development of new technologies that better support energy conservation, we will continue to research and explore all options to control the County utilities budget.
 
The effective management of energy is based on three basic principles:
 
  1. Changing the philosophy about energy usage.
  2. Initiating changes within the facilities environment.
  3. Promoting educational awareness for energy conservation success.
 
With planning, implementation, education and targeted spending, our energy conservation goals can be reached.
 
Plan Organization
 
The Energy Conservation Plan consists of:
 
  • Immediate measures which can be implemented (or may have already been implemented) through consistent procedural changes and daily behavioral habit modification;
 
  • Short term measures which can be implemented by County facilities to reduce or limit energy usage and plan for energy conservation without on-going approvals within existing budget constraints;
 
  • Long term measures which will extend beyond the current fiscal year and which may require identification of new funding sources.
 
  1. Immediate Conservation Measures
Measures that will have the greatest effect on usage in most work environments
Heating and cooling costs account for about 30-50% of our energy costs.
 
  • Use the automatic setting on your thermostat so the fan turns on only when you need heating or cooling.  On the manual setting, the fan operates continuously and can increase your energy usage.
  • Set the heating controls in between 68-70 degrees for winter settings, with a set back at night or when unoccupied to 60-65 degrees.
  • Cooling controls should be set in between 72-74 degrees for summer settings.
  • Consider raising cooling settings and lowering heating settings on programmable thermostats for both occupied and unoccupied hours.
  • Heating and cooling should start no sooner than ½ hour before you begin the day.
  • Heating and cooling may be set back ½ hour before the end of the day.
  • Windows shall remain closed during cooling/heating
  • Clean or replace filters regularly.  Keep outside units free from leaves or debris that may clog vent.
  • Do not use personal space heaters as for they are prohibited.  These heaters use an inordinate amount of energy, can be a fire hazard, and also work against the pre-settings of the thermostat.
  • In the winter, close window coverings at the end of the day to cut down on heat loss.  In the summer, close window coverings during the day to avoid the heat gain of direct sunlight.
  • Turn off your computer monitor when you are away from your desk for more than 15 minutes and at the end of the day.  Most monitors now come with power management features; talk to IT staff about activating this feature.  Note that screen savers don’t save energy; complex screen savers actually increase energy use.
  • Eliminate unnecessary hot plates, coffeepots and other small appliances in your area and turn off all tools, office machines and portable appliances when not in use.  If you’re the last one leaving at the end of the day, turn off the photocopiers and other office equipment.  Instead of having many coffee pots in various offices, select one to cover the whole office.
  • Turn off all lights at night, including task and office lights.
  • Use natural light whenever possible.  Turn off lights near windows when daylight is adequate.
  • Turn off lights when they are not in use.
 
Measures that will be effective for some work environments
 
  • Watering your landscape wastes electricity along with water.  The water within our facilities gets there with the use of large electric pumps.  Make sure you follow local watering guidelines for proper landscape care.
  • Verify that the outside air (OSA) dampers are closed during unoccupied hours, including during morning warm-up periods.  Fresh air is critical while the building is occupied, but heating OSA when it is not needed increase energy costs.
  • Be sure motor-operated dampers are operating properly.
  • Less frequently used equipment with remote controls such as televisions and VCRs should be unplugged when not in use because they still use some power even when turned off.
  • Make sure photocells (light sensors that turn on electric lights after dark) are clean.
  • Also turn off lights in unused common areas such as copy rooms, break rooms, conference rooms and rest rooms.  The effect on lamp life and energy use when turning the lamp back on is negligible.
  • Don’t set a higher temperature to “warm up faster”, or a lower temperature to cool quickly.  It only wastes energy.
  • Check to make sure that exhaust fans operate only during occupied periods unless required to operate continuously.
  • Check that dampers on exhaust fans close when the fan is not operating.  Adjust fan belt tension.
  • Inspect control schedules and zones so that you heat only the occupied sections of the building.
  • If you only have electric space heating, stagger the start times to help reduce demand, especially during peak demand times.
  • Close off unoccupied areas and shut their heat or air conditioning vents; or turn off room air conditioner.  This does not apply if you have a heat pump system.
  • Sitting close to a window during the cloudy winter can make you feel cold, if so, close window coverings or move further from the window.
  • Try to schedule group activities in the area with the least energy use, and schedule evening meetings in areas that can be heated and cooled individually.  This may include offering a work station for staff working after hours so they do not need to heat or cool half a floor or cubicle for one person on a weekend.
  • Make sure that air vent grills are not blocked by plants, books or furnishings.
  • Keep drafts away from thermostats to prevent an inaccurate reading.
  • Dust or vacuum radiator surfaces frequently to insure a free flow of heat.
  • In cold weather, dress warmly and in layers that can be adjusted for optimal comfort.  Loosen clothing and dress casually during the warmest hours.
  • Dressing wisely can help you maintain natural heat.  Wear closely woven fabrics.  They add at least a half-degree in warmth.  For women, slacks are at least a degree warmer than skirts.  For men and women a light long-sleeved sweater equals 2 degrees in added warmth.  A heavy long sleeved sweater adds about 4 degrees and two light weight sweaters add about 5 degrees of warmth because of air between them serves as insulation to keep in more body heat.
 
  1.  Short Term Conservation Measures
  • Having your vending machine owner turn off the advertising lighting in the machine.  This will conserve energy and could save between $50 and $110 per year, depending of your cost of electricity.
  • Use photocells to automatically switch lights on at night or use motion sensors to increase safety.  Photocells are controls that make lights “smart”.  They sense whether available surrounding light is present to determine whether a light should be lit or not.  The light turns on and off automatically.
  • Use lower wattage bulbs in non-critical areas.
  • A 50-watt reflector floodlight provides the same amount of light as a standard 100-watt bulb. 
  • Use one large bulb instead of several small bulbs that add up to higher wattage.
  • Many areas have more lighting than is required for current tasks.  Measure current lighting levels and reduce excess lighting by using power reducers, multi-level switching, or simple removal of lamps and ballasts.  Note that some ballast continue to use some energy even when lamps are not operating.
  • Ask janitorial services to only light one area of the building at a time rather than having the entire building brightly lit until midnight.
  • Ask janitorial services to take advantage of partial switching (such as turning on only one lamp of a three-lamp fixture that is wired to allow this) to further reduce energy use during building cleaning.
  • Avoid using incandescent task light (desk lamps).  Ask your building manager for a compact fluorescent lamp to replace the incandescent lamp as your task light.
  • Staggering shifts or using flexible work schedules are suggested to empty offices during energy peaks.
  • Teleconferencing can reduce energy use and save travel costs.
  • Feel for air drafts around electric outlets.  Inexpensive pads are available, as are plugs for unused sockets.
  • Confirm that the amount of outside air matches the occupant load.  One improvement to consider is adding carbon dioxide monitors along with controls that will only bring in as much OSA as necessary for the current occupant load.
  • Verify that the building control system is going into the night setback mode during unoccupied hours.  Time clocks may require adjustments after daylight savings switchovers or after power outages.  Even computer control systems may need updating after equipment modifications.
  • Confirm that OSA economizer is functioning properly to take advantage of free cooling.  Most office buildings are in cooling mode when the outside air temperature is above 55 degrees F.  The core of buildings over 20,000 square feet are almost always in cooling, even during the winter months.
  • Keep your systems well-tuned with periodic maintenance.  At least once a year have a service technician measure the carbon dioxide in your gas burner.
  • Make sure simultaneous heating and cooling does not occur.  Verify proper operation of valves, dampers and controls.
  • For commercial and industrial applications, monitor stack temperatures on fossil fuel boilers.  If the stack temperature is more than 400 degrees above the boiler room temperature, schedule the boiler for a tune-up.
  • Turn off circulation pumps during unoccupied times if no freeze conditions exist.
  • Make sure that air handling unit filters are changed every 2-3 months, and that coils on the outdoor condensing unit and indoor heating and cooling units are kept clean.
  • Check control sequencing for multiple chillers and boilers.  For light load operation, use the smallest and most efficient chiller or boiler available and avoid frequent equipment cycling.
  • Check the duct work for air leaks about once a year if you have a forced-air heating system.  To do this, feel around the duck joints for escaping air when the fan is on.  Small leaks can be repaired with duct tape.  Larger leaks may require caulking.
 
  1.  Long Term Conservation Measures
  • Perform energy audits on all buildings. As needed, Garrett County Government may hire a third party energy conservation consultant(s) to conduct comprehensive energy audits on buildings identified as high priority.  Such audits may be conducted as part of energy performance contracts and should also be used to verify energy savings. After completion of a comprehensive facility audit of each targeted County building or facility, the County may be begin implementing cost-effective recommendations based on available grant or budgeted County funding.
  • Incorporate energy efficiency guidelines for all new construction.
  • Incorporate energy efficiency guidelines for all building retrofits.
  • Purchase only “Energy Star” equipment.
  • Utilize performance contracting to limit economic impact on building retrofits.
  • Retrofit most energy inefficient buildings first.
  • We can eliminate bulbs in fixtures as an initial conservation measure, but the long-term fix is to replace the T-12 bulbs with T-8 bulbs with electronic ballasts.  In doing this, the whole lighting situation should be re-evaluated so we don’t over light with the new bulbs since they are not only more efficient, but they put out more light.  Part of the reevaluation may include installation of additional motion detectors in applicable areas.
  • Replacement of windows, installing window films and insulating buildings all have to be evaluated to make sure we are getting the most efficiency for the money spent.  We will have to rely on the Facilities and Maintenance Department staff to provide the necessary over-sight on these projects.
  • Water conservation needs to be addressed.  Low flow faucets, low flow toilets and an evaluation of hand drying methods should be evaluated in the same contexts as electricity.
  • Develop landscaping plans that  require less water consumption in the future.
  • Variable speed drives on air handlers.
  • A central heating and cooling system will use less energy than individual heat-cool units for most work environments.
  • Utilize high efficiency motors on electrical equipment.
  • Evaluate processes to eliminate or reduce energy resources needed for the process such as eliminate or reducing the forms needed to get permission for an activity, simplify approval chains or modify reporting requirements, etc.
 
Conservation Plan Points of Consideration
 
  • The energy and conservation plan supports the “Blueprint” of good stewardship by the Board of County Commissioners and County staff in promoting energy efficiency, reduction thereof in utility costs, and most importantly cost avoidance regarding budgetary requests in management and operation of County facilities and buildings.
  • The efficient and conscientious use of energy by County government is essential to modeling good citizenship, accountability and service.
  • County government has a responsibility to be a leader in workplace resource efficiency.
  • Optimizing energy conservation and energy management can result in significant cost savings and enhanced environmental stewardship.
  • The combustion of fossil fuels through electricity generation and heating plants results in carbon dioxide emissions.  Increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere contribute to the greenhouse effect and global climate change, both locally and nationally.
  • A reduction in energy consumption by Garrett County government will assist in promoting the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions attributable to County facility operations.
  • As energy costs continue to rise, energy conservation measures provide cost avoidance/cost savings back to Garrett County budgets.
  • To effectively address energy conservation by a County government entity, both operational efficiency aspects and employee usage patterns must be evaluated and considered.
  • An energy plan is the single most important part of an effective energy program.
  • Without a plan, County staff can only react to a given situation.  An energy plan allows County individuals to be proactive in management of County facilities and resources.
  • Recognize the energy demand and environmental impact associated with the County’s operations and management of facilities necessary to provide services to Garrett County staff and County residents.
  • Establish efficient energy management within County government operations as a fundamental operational objective, with special emphasis on assuring all County staff are educated in conservation measures, as well in adherence to the plan.
  • Implement, where practicable, energy efficiency measures through a variety of mechanisms such as life cycle analysis and energy performance contracting.
  • Support and promote verification and commissioning of fundamental building systems to ensure they are designed, constructed, installed, calibrated, and operating as intended, in order to achieve exemplary energy performance goals.
  • Directionally advocate for adherence of voluntary green construction and remodeling standards for buildings where appropriate, such as ENERGY STAR, and encourage various nationally supported and resource efficient standards, such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), for building excellence where appropriate and/or life cycle cost effective.
  • Encourage the tracking, promotion of sustainable and energy efficient practices.
  • Encourage the adoption of environmentally preferable purchasing policies for products and services, and suggest that contractors and suppliers commit to similar energy efficiency and sustainability standards.
  • Encourage the expansion of renewable energy use and other distributed generation technologies throughout the County’s facilities and activities.
  • Provide County personnel with proper training and education in implementing this plan, as well as serve as an educational and informational resource to energy efficient practices within the workplace and foster a sense of personal responsibility. 
  • Recognize and award individual and collective efforts that contribute to the County’s energy resource conservation plan achieved at the employee level or by departments.  Incentive programs can be developed to improve compliance and acceptance of the plan by County employees.  These may include building versus building contests, department versus department contests, financial incentives, preferred parking, employee suggestion box, reward plan, etc.
  • Support continuous energy performance by funding new efficiency measures with funds derived from utility savings.
 
Employee Energy Conservation Educational Awareness
 
The Facilities and Maintenance Department in conjunction with the Energy Conservation Team will develop a program to educate and encourage County employees to reduce energy consumption and promote “ownership” of energy costs by individual departments.  Electricity used by common office equipment (including computers, monitors, copy machines, computer network equipment, telephone network, printers and fax machines) makes up a significant share of the electricity used in commercial buildings.  Power monitoring is a common technique that decreases the amount of power consumed when the equipment is not in use.  Other efficiency features such as double-sided printing can save money and reduce the environmental costs of producing paper.
 
Upon adoption of this plan, the Facilities and Maintenance Department and the Energy Conservation Team will begin implementing communication initiatives to raise awareness of possible energy efficiencies in the workplace.  These communication efforts may include:
 
  • Issue department-wide emails highlighting the need for staff to play a role in reducing usage at work though simple housekeeping measures such as turning off computer monitors and lights at the end of the day.
  • Staff participation campaigns to encourage the implementation of energy-saving practices.
  • Placement of environmental and energy reduction strategies, plans and commitments on the County website.
 
The Facilities and Maintenance Department and the  Energy Conservation Team will continue to work with building occupants to communicate the energy reduction message to staff in all government-owned buildings.
 
Staff Development and Engagement
 
The  Facilities and Maintenance Department in conjunction with the Energy Conservation Team representation will collaboratively work together in ensuring that all appropriate personnel involved in resource conservation and operations within County facilities will receive training for implementation of the Energy Conservation Plan.  Additionally, the aforementioned Energy Conservation Team participants will work towards the common goal of achieving the following energy resource needs of County staff:
 
  • Relevant training or training materials for those programs that they deem appropriate in relating to the energy management and application strategies contained in this plan.
  • Every new employee that works in County facilities or with energy equipment is encouraged to be given basic instruction on the introduction to energy management, the whole building approach, lighting, HVAC, energy management systems and controls, efficient water use and efficiency standards for other natural energy resources.
  • Encourage incorporation into existing procurement procedures information on energy management tools, including energy conservation savings performance contracts, utility energy efficiency service contracts, ENERGY STAR and other energy efficient products, water and other natural resources, and life cycle cost analysis.
 
Coordination and Management of Energy Conservation Plan
 
  • The Facilities and Maintenance Department in conjunction with the Energy Conservation Team shall coordinate the countywide Energy Conservation Plan in County owned and leased facilities.
  • The overall administration and enforcement of this plan will be under the care of the Board of County Commissioners, County Administrator, Director of Facilities and Maintenance and the Energy Conservation Team Representation.
  • Each department, as applicable, will work collaboratively with the Energy Conservation Team to assure conservation measures at County owned and leased facilities are being initiated and executed.
  • The Facilities and Maintenance Department along with the Energy Conservation Team are primarily responsible for ensuring the success of the energy and resource conservation plan.  This plan, however, is equally dependent upon the support of the Board of County Commissioners, County Administrator and all County employees.  All major initiatives will be reviewed and approved through the Board of County Commissioners, County Administrator, Facilities and Maintenance Department and the Energy Conservation Team prior to initiating any actions regarding the Energy Conservation Plan.
 
Measurement and Verification of Energy Plan
 
The responsibility and management of an energy accounting software program will be within the Facilities and Maintenance Department under the direct supervision of the Manager, and or designee.  This program may be purchased in the near future to provide the measurement component of an effective energy resource conservation plan.  As a means of creating the necessary base of energy information, utility bill data for the last several years (2 as a minimum) will be loaded into the program for all County facilities the Facilities and Maintenance presently manages.  Enterprise funds and component units of County government may also utilize this program as applicable.  When completed, the program will monitor and measure electric, natural gas, water and sewer.  Incorporation of this utility information on an ongoing basis will allow the Energy Conservation Team to appropriately supply detained utility reports to their respective department heads, as well to report out to County staff on accomplishments and or shortfalls regarding energy usage and savings.  Additionally, this method will be used to closely monitor the overall energy conditions within County facilities, and to present the results of the software program in a timely and meaningful manner to the Board of County Commissioners and the County Administrator.
 
Periodic Internal Audits
 
  • To ensure this policy is successfully implemented, internal audits will be conducted periodically by the Facilities and Maintenance Department and Energy Conservation Team or designee.
  • Audits will cover all sections of this plan, and all County government facilities.
  • Audit results will be documented and retained by the Facilities and Maintenance Department.
  • Audit findings will be addressed by the Facilities and Maintenance Department in conjunction with the Energy Conservation Team.
 
Next Steps: Actions Items for Facilities and Maintenance and Energy Conservation Team
 
  • Clearly defined energy reduction goals.
  • Communication of the goals to all organizational levels.
  • Assignment of responsibility and accountability at the proper level
  • Tracking of energy use
  • Continuous identification of potential savings
  • Adoption of project investment criteria reflecting project risks and returns
  • Provision for recognition and reward for achieving the goals
  • Develop reporting mechanism on how to brief the organization on energy efficiency responsibilities
  • Establish Energy Conservation Team with guidelines to:
    • How to train and motivate staff
    • Evaluate performance
    • Set energy savings goals
    • Communicate management goals and report progress
    • Obtain external assistance, if appropriate
 
Issues and Challenges
 
The following are major issues and challenges that could potentially affect the Energy Conservation Plan.  However, programming and placing the following initiatives in action now will help better prepare for the future.
 
  • Increasing utility costs and reduced dollars available for building projects and programs
  • As building systems age, operational costs increase
  • Rapid changes in technology and growth in County population may create greater demands on County facilities, leading to increased energy usage and costs, maintenance costs, and equipment upgrades.
  • Since benchmarks are not always consistent due to weather changes, equipment changes, etc, it may difficult to track energy savings.
  • State and County funding cuts could impact energy conservation initiatives. 
 
Closing Remarks
 
Presented within this policy are methods and practices that can greatly assist the Facilities and Maintenance Department and the Energy Conservation Team.  However, all staff within the County, including the Board of County Commissioners, must actively support and prepare themselves for a change of conditions within facilities as well as to adapt to the behavioral modifications required to make this plan a success.  The Facilities and Maintenance Department along with the Energy Conservation Team eagerly await the challenges of trying to assist the County in reductions of utilities and costs, as well as to locally participate in reduction of the carbon footprint of County facilities.
 
 
Adoption of Plan
 
This plan is adopted this the        7th              day of             August                                    , 2012 by the Board of County Commissioners of Garrett County, Maryland.  This plan replaces an Energy Conservation Policy adopted by the County on September 20, 1993