The city has closed the book on a project that could save nearly $800,000 in energy costs over the next 15 years.

The Washington City Council Monday, June 3, approved the final pay for Control Technology & Solutions, LLC, (CTS Group), Ballwin, for their work in determining cost-savings measures at city facilities, and then contracting with firms to conduct the work.

In October 2018, the city agreed to pay the CTS Group $642,451 for an energy audit and implementation of the findings.

The CTS Group estimated the city will save $789,602 over the course of 15 years. That is a savings of $147,151 over the cost of the contract.

The CTS Group saves its customers by reducing operating costs through “budget neutral” financing. The company initiates and designs facility upgrades to be paid through “guaranteed cost-savings achieved with those improvements.” CTS then contracts with firms to conduct the work, oftentimes using local companies.

Included in the work was the replacement of the glass block windows in the council chambers. Representatives of CTS told the council that the glass block windows were not energy efficient and increased costs to the city.

A major portion of the project was the installation of LED lights and fixtures at  city hall, Phoenix Center, the public safety building, the training center the library and Fire Stations 1, 3 and 4.

The company began work to replace lights quickly last year in order to take advantage of an Ameren Missouri rebate program that ended in December, according to City Administrator Darren Lamb.

“They had to put lights in first to get rebates from Ameren before the end of the year,” he said. “They pushed really hard to do that.”

Lamb noted that the savings come in reduced energy bills.

“The lights help pay for quite a bit of it,” he said. “That pays for the cost for windows over the next 15 years.”

There was HVAC work at Fire Stations 1 and 4, as well as city hall. 

The HVAC work at city hall included the removal of an inlet vane and addition of a variable frequency drive (VFD). The VFD adjusts the speed of an HVAC fan or pump motor, saving energy and prolonging equipment life.

Additionally, there were new thermostat controls added at city hall, which included training on the new computerized controls.

According to Lamb, the city is looking ahead to additional energy-cost savings at other city facilities, including the auditorium.

The city is planning a rehabilitation of the city auditorium with funds from the city’s half-cent capital improvement sales tax.

“We’re going to look at a secondary phase when we address the city auditorium in another two to three years down the road,” Lamb said.