County announces plans for $3.7 million energy efficiency stimulus grant

At the Wednesday, June 24, County Commissioners Meeting, the Commissioners will vote to adopt the “Lancaster County Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy” and accordingly apply for $3,795,900 in Federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funds. The availability of these funds—part of the Federal stimulus package—was announced in early March; however, it was not until this week that any specific uses were delineated.

The purpose of the “Conservation Strategy” is to lay out representative projects in which the funds will be utilized. By providing this plan, the County will qualify for an immediate 50% of its allocated funds, once the application is approved.

Some of the proposed uses for these funds include

  • Replacing incandescent bulbs in 70 traffic lights with long lasting, energy saving LEDs
  • Implementing new server software to reduce the amount of running server hardware from 22 units to only 2
  • Updating an old heat pump and integrating a geothermal heating system at the Environmental Education Center
  • Retrofitting the County Courthouse with improved insulation to conserve energy from heating and A/C
  • Performing extensive “energy audits” to assess general efficiency and insulation in local municipal facilities as well as the existing County Prison

The $3.7 million will only be applied to projects outside of the City and Manheim Township, because seperate stimulus funds have been allocated to these areas. The County expects a response to the application around September 2009.