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Shenandoah Valley Regional Energy Efficiency Program begins phase two

The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission has begun the second phase of its Shenandoah Valley Regional Energy Efficiency Program for municipal building upgrades throughout the region.   The improvements are among those recommended by Roanoke-based Spectrum Design as part of an energy audit of 47 public buildings throughout the Central Shenandoah Region.

The full findings of the energy conservation studies were presented to representatives of each of the jurisdictions in the fall of 2011.   As a result of the findings, projects in 20 communities are currently underway or have been completed.

Improvements to the Rosenwald Community Center in Waynesboro include upgrades to their outdated heating and cooling system. Dwayne Jones, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Waynesboro, says “the improvements to the Rosenwald Community Center will help us reduce our energy use and save on energy costs.”

In Staunton, new gas fired radiant heaters have been installed in the four garage service bays at the public works department.  “This is an extremely efficient way to heat our public works building, ” says Tom Sliwoski, Director of public works for the city of Staunton.

Augusta County has completed its audit study of five buildings at the Augusta County Government complex.  The County has determined that replacement of its old lighting system will give them the greatest benefit.   “T12 technology is becoming obsolete and we are able to use grant funds to conform to new technologies with the benefit of reducing our energy consumption at the same time,” says Candy Hensley, Environmental Programs Manager for Augusta County.

It has been projected that if all of the recommended upgrades were implemented, the region could save approximately $300,000 annually in energy costs.  On average, the payback to complete the recommended projects is estimated to be 12 years or less.

“Many of the structures are more than 50 years old, built long before energy efficiency was a priority,” says Bonnie S.  Riedesel, Executive Director of the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission.   “The energy audits recommended each of these projects as having the greatest impact in reducing energy consumption and costs.  We’re pleased that through this grant we can assist the jurisdictions in making some of these improvements that will have long-term benefit to their communities.”

The project, under direction of the CSPDC, is being funded with economic stimulus monies through the Virginia Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program administered by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy.  A total investment of $640,000 will be invested in the region.  In addition to the energy audits, the grant provided up to $22,000 in funding for each jurisdiction to complete the upgrades.

For more information about this effort, contact Mr. Robbie Huff with the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission at

augusta free press
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