Friday, March 30, 2012

Earth Hour 2012 and General Savings Update

The City is pleased to partner with the University of Tennessee to participate in Earth Hour 2012. We are turning off all of the lights on floors 1-6 of the City County Building and the decorative lights on the cascade at World’s Fair Park along Cumberland Ave. from 8:30-9:30 on Saturday March 31st (Earth Hour).

The University of Tennessee will be turning off lights at Ayres Hall and Pendergrass Library. They are also working with students in the dormitories to turn individual room lights off during this time.

Independent of Earth Hour activities, the City of Knoxville has an energy savings performance contract with Ameresco. The contract is a $19 million, 13 year contract to upgrade 99 of the city’s buildings and most of the city’s parks and parking lots. The City will save at least $1.1 million annually for the next thirteen years. Because of this contract, for which construction is almost complete, the City will conserve 11.8 million kilowatt hours, 59,950 therms of natural gas, and 54 million gallons of water each and every year.

In addition to the Ameresco contract, the City has upgraded HVAC systems at 12 fire stations, recycled over 4,000 tons of curbside waste since September, 2011, and installed nearly 125 kW of solar energy.

The City is a participant in the EV Project and will be installating nearly 30 electric vehicle charging stations and two more solar arrays. Our Green Rebate Incentive Program provided rebates to home, business and non-profit owners who purchased energy star appliances or installed solar on their facilities. That program finishes April 2. Our focus this year lies in policy changes at the city-level and upgrading the building codes.

We are proud to be a participant in this year’s Earth Hour and are looking forward to another year of reducing our City’s energy use and improving livability.