Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

County OKs energy upgrades for courthouse

February 6, 2013


The Douglas County Commission authorized Wednesday upgrades to the courthouse heating and cooling systems that will save thousands of dollars a year in utility bills.

The project includes a new programmable thermostat system so that temperatures can be controlled on a room-by-room basis. It will also involve new air handling systems and new systems for distributing hot and chilled water, among other things.

Douglas County currently between $3,300 and $7,400 a month in gas and electricity bills for the courthouse. Bill Bell, the county's maintenance director, said the upgrades should reduce those costs by at least $11,000 a year.

Commissioners waived the normal bidding process in order to acquire the technology through Control Services Company Inc., of Lee's Summit, Mo., the same firm the county used in recent upgrades to the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center. The county has budgeted $155,000 for the project.

Eileen Horn, the county's sustainability coordinator, said improving energy efficiency is a high priority for the county. In December, she reported that upgrades to the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center had saved the county more than $100,000 in 2012. She said the Douglas County Extension Office, which also underwent recent upgrades, was ranked in a survey by the National Association of Counties as the second most energy efficient county-owned buildings in the nation.


Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 3 months ago

Quick math looks like that the payout is about the life of the new equipment... oh well, guess thats why we elect these geniuses.

Eugehne Normandin 5 years, 3 months ago

waived the the normal bidding process can i waive the normal tax paying process ??

Bike_lover 5 years, 3 months ago

If they can't currently set the temperature in individual rooms it's likely too hot in some rooms and too cold in others. Adding individual controls will make a huge difference in the comfort level for the people who work or do business there, plus it will save money.

While the price of gas may stay low electricity is going to go up, even for utilities who generate with gas. It's a good move.

I don't have a problem with using who they're already using to do HVAC work. They've set a price and they know this outfit will do it for that amount. To go through a bidding process and maybe end up with somebody who'll run over would be wasteful, and the energy savings are ticking away.

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