State hires Siemens unit for efficiency upgrades

A new contract to reduce energy usage at three government buildings is expected to save Rhode Island taxpayers about $11 million over 14 years.
Under a contract with Buffalo Grove, Ill.-based Siemens Building Technologies Inc., administrative buildings that house the R.I. Department of Health, the R.I. Division of Taxation and the R.I.
Office of Energy Resources will get extensive upgrades and retrofits to their heating and air conditioning systems.
“We now have a long-term, budget-neutral solution for improving the comfort and energy efficiency of three of our government buildings while reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the process,” Andrew Dzykewicz, chief energy adviser to Gov. Donald L. Carcieri, said in a statement.
Over the period of the contract, the project will reduce emissions of typical greenhouse gases by more than 27 million pounds and save the equivalent of about 77,000 barrels of crude oil, according to Siemens.
Put in other terms, the positive environmental impact of the project will be equivalent to eliminating more than 5,000 cars from the road or planting 7,000 trees per year, the company said.
Siemens already has begun the work in the 104,000-square-foot Cannon Building at 3 Capitol Hill, the 233,000-square-foot Powers Building at One Capitol Hill and the 68,000-square-foot Chapin Laboratory building at 50 Orms St., all in Providence.
Plans ultimately call for the replacement of aging, inefficient boilers within each building with newer units that are more energy-efficient and environmentally efficient. Other upgrades will include the installation of energy and water conservation measures, such as new low-energy-consumption lighting, high-efficiency motors and drives and other measures. All of the facility improvements are scheduled to be completed by mid-2008.
Once they are completed, annual energy savings at the three buildings are anticipated to reach 1,892,090 kilowatt hours of electricity and
108,122 therms of natural gas, according to Siemens.
The Office of Energy Resources is moving forward with similar projects at other government buildings throughout the state, and can also assist Rhode Island’s cities and towns and private businesses and organizations throughout the state with energy-saving projects, Dzykewicz said.
“We stand ready to help any other entity in the state to follow this example,” he said.

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