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St. Lawrence County will conduct energy audit

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CANTON — St. Lawrence County will conduct an energy audit that Governmental Services Director Michael J. Cunningham believes will translate into operational savings.

Legislator Alex A. MacKinnon, R-Fowler, was not enthusiastic when Mr. Cunningham approached the Finance Committee on Monday with the proposal to contract with Wendel Energy Services to identify and put in place energy conservation measures because such studies have not gone far in the past toward more efficiency.

“It seems this is just another one,” he said.

But Mr. Cunningham said Wendel makes its money based on the value of its recommendations.

“This is actually a whole outlined procedure that’s tried and true,” Mr. Cunningham said. “They guarantee us savings in kilowatts. It’s very important to them that it’s correct.”

The work will go beyond recommendations such as shutting off lights and lowering thermostats, he said.

“It’s actually going to be putting energy efficient equipment in our buildings,” Mr. Cunningham said.

Wendel, Amherst, will conduct a comprehensive energy audit of county facilities, including office buildings, the Highway Department and Solid Waste, to develop the scope of work.

Fifty percent of eligible audit expenses will be covered directly by the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority. The maximum local cost will be $27,500. Much of the expense will be partially offset by grants and incentives with remaining costs paid for through savings achieved by the project itself.

“The audit will be the foundation for choosing what we do,” Mr. Cunningham said.

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