The City of Cape Coral is continuing its
efforts to reduce energy use at its many
facilities. The City is aiming for a 10 percent
reduction by 2012 and 40 percent reduction
At the William “Bill” Austen Youth Center and
Eagle Skate Park many lost cost/no cost improvements
were implemented about a year ago to air
conditioning control, lighting and energy management
practices. These improvements produced a
37 percent reduction in electricity usage during the
12 months ending in March (compared to 2008).
This reduction was achieved even as events and
programs at these facilities more than doubled.
The electricity savings from these facilities is
equivalent to the annual power usage of seven typical
homes in our area. With their current trend
of energy reduction, the Youth Center and Skate Park complex is likely to
soon be the first City of Cape Coral facility to surpass our 2025 goal to reduce
energy usage by 40 percent.
The City of Cape Coral’s Energy Team has implemented 20 projects, which
will result in an annual savings exceeding $388,000. The energy use reduction
is equivalent to the annual electricity use of 106 typical homes in our area.
Additional improvements in progress will be completed this summer with
additional savings exceeding $66,000 (54 more homes).
Total electricity usage in City facilities through March is unchanged since
2008; however, the facilities include the new Police Headquarters and Fire Station
1 built after 2008. These structures account for about 6 percent of recent
usage. Overall, electricity costs are up by 26 percent due to rate increases.
Under the leadership of Brian Fenske (acting Water Reclamation Superintendent),
process improvements were implemented at the City's water
reclamation plants in 2008 that have reduced electricity usage for the past 12
months by 11 percent. The annual electricity savings would power 115 homes
in our area. The long-term impact of these improvements has not yet been
evaluated. Treatment Plant Operator, a national trade publication, ran a nice
article on these improvements last year.
City Hall power use is down 17 percent during the 12 months ending in
March (compared to 2008) for a $50,000 reduction. This reduction would
power 35 equivalent homes. Much of the energy reduction was achieved after
more than 1,000 light bulbs were removed, computers were powered down
during non-work hours and the air conditioning system was adjusted.
Air conditioning settings now are being set at 78 F in most City facilities.
Our studies show that air conditioning power use is reduced by about 8 percent
for every degree increase in control setting. At City Hall after the temperatures
were increased about 2 degrees to 3 degrees, the electricity use was
cut by 15 percent in the first 18 days of April compared to the same days last
year, even though it was considerably hotter this year. This savings would
power 23 homes.
Parks and Recreation, Finance, Public Works, Water Reclamation
and the City’s drinking water wells have surpassed the City’s 10 percent
2012 reduction goal.