Crestwood board votes to seek grant for two lighting improvement projects

City paid firm $1,000 to perform an energy audit

By EVAN YOUNG

Crestwood has partnered with several cities around the region to compete in a grant program that promotes energy efficiency projects.

The Board of Aldermen unanimously adopted a resolution last week authorizing the city to participate in the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program.

More than a dozen area municipalities have teamed up to apply for a share of $12.5 million in grants from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

If the effort is successful, Crestwood would use the funds to help pay for lighting improvements at the government center and the community center in Whitecliff Park.

An energy audit conducted last month determined it would cost the city $89,950 to improve its energy efficiency by installing new lightbulbs and retrofitting existing light fixtures in the two buildings. The city paid Holt Energy Conservation $1,000 — $500 per building — for the audit, officials said last week.

Preliminary figures show the grant could cut the lighting project’s cost by nearly 50 percent. The city could receive up to $27,171 from the DNR and an additional incentive of $14,400 from AmerenUE, according to the energy audit.

That would reduce the city’s cost for the project from $89,950 to $48,379 — a roughly 46-percent decrease.

The new and retrofitted lighting would produce an annual energy savings of $17,672, which means the city’s initial $48,379 investment would be paid back in just under three years, according to the audit.

Using data from the Environmental Protection Agency, the audit further stated that the total estimated pollution reduction of the project would be equivalent to 39 cars driven per year and 16,632 trees planted per year.

Grants will be awarded by Feb. 15, and Crestwood, if it receives funding, could begin its lighting project after March 15, said Holt Energy Conservation’s Michael Jacobwith. The city would have two years from that date to use the grant, he said.

While public works staff did not include the lighting project in the 2010 budget, aldermen agreed to reduce the street maintenance budget to fund it.