Pa. energy auditing firm gets JHESP nod
June 29, 2012
The Jackson Hole Energy Sustainability Project has chosen a company to perform energy audits on public buildings and buildings in special districts, such as Teton Village.
The audits are part of a project approved by Teton County voters on the Aug. 2010 specific purpose excise tax ballot. The SPET ballot called for “energy conservation measures for public buildings.”
The audit process could begin as early as July.
Board members of the sustainability project — a partnership of the town of Jackson, Teton County and Lower Valley Energy to reduce energy consumption among valley residents — approved the selection of Eaton, a Pennsylvania-based energy service company, at a meeting June 21.
Eaton will begin the process by identifying buildings with the most potential for electricity reduction and financial savings.
“We’re looking for the biggest bang for our buck,” sustainability project executive director Shelley Simonton said.
Buildings that could be audited include the airport, St. John’s Medical Center, the Bridger-Teton National Forest headquarters and various Teton County schools.
SPET money will be used to fund a portion of a project, but the entity receiving the money will also have to provide funding for the energy efficiency improvements.
“We want whoever we work with to have their own interest and their own skin in the game,” Simonton said. “That’s where the rub will come.”
She said recipients of the SPET money will have to include extra funds in their own budgets to pay for the projects.
“We are providing incentive to initiate the project,” Jackson Mayor Mark Barron said. He sits on the sustainability project’s board.
The board chose Eaton because the company is experienced, has a local staff member and is willing to do partial projects, Simonton said. She said other energy service companies were only interested in the project if they could do both the auditing portion and the actual construction.
Teton county voters approved $3.8 million of SPET money for the project. The Jackson Hole Energy Sustainability Project received $400,000 of that money in 2011 and will use it for the initial stages of the project, including paying Eaton for its services. The sustainability project is slated to receive $1.6 million in 2013 and $1.8 million in 2014.
The sustainability project’s board has not yet set a contract with Eaton. Simonton said the company will be paid hourly, rather than in a lump sum, because it is yet to be determined how many projects it will have.