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Pike County looks to save money on energy expenses

Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford is seeking ways to reduce the county's energy costs.

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (April 27, 2012) – Because of a shortfall in Pike County’s budget, an economic recession and dwindling coal severance tax receipts, the Pike County government is in a serious financial situation, according to a press release from Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford

To save money, the county is looking for ways to reduce its long-term energy costs, Rutherford said. The county has worked with two companies in the endeavor, but neither “could supply the fiscal court with complete verification with savings and shelter for the county government if there were to be a shortfall after the first year,” the judge/executive said.

Pike County officials have been in contact with the National Association of Energy Saving Companies in search of a company with enough technical and managerial competence to develop and implement a comprehensive energy efficient program for the county.

The project will include small and large energy savings measures, said Terry Rogers, Pike County maintenance engineer.

“This project will be everything from basic lighting controls to sophisticated cogeneration plants at all three county courthouses,” he said. “The same measures will be taken at all the county’s fire departments, senior centers and community centers.”

The county government has requested a proposal for the identification, design and implementation of energy-efficient components with a guaranteed performance contract detailing the savings over the next 20 years, Rutherford said.

“We plan to reduce energy costs and improve maintenance and operation of Pike County facilities that in the end will produce capital funds,” Rutherford said. “We are looking at every avenue we can to save money.”

A savings estimate shows a guaranteed possible yearly savings of nearly $132,000 the first year and more than $231,000 in the 20th year under an energy management agreement.

The county’s finance director, Rhonda James, is working with Lexington-based Perfection Group to create an energy-saving proposal, which will be presented to the court in the near future.

“With the decreasing coal severance tax funds and continued slow economy, the county has to look at other revenue streams and try to save money wherever and whenever we can,” James said. “The energy-saving project is an idea for saving money in the long term, which is what we have to do to recover from this financial slump – look at the long term.”

Rutherford will not propose the project to the Pike County Fiscal Court unless it contains guaranteed annual savings, James said, along with a “guarantee that the county will not be responsible for any shortfall.”

For more information about the county’s energy-savings endeavors, contact Brandon Roberts at 1-606-432-6392 or [email protected]