Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Major Energy Initiative For Tulsa County

Tulsa Business Staff

Tulsa County creates energy efficiency initiative.

"The rising cost of energy and its impact on the operations of Tulsa County government requires that we develop a state of the art energy sustainability and efficiency program,” said Commissioner Fred Perry, citing the rising cost of energy use for all of the properties owned by Tulsa County.

In making the announcement, Perry tabbed Chief Deputy Terry Simonson to lead the energy team which will be comprised of Ray Jordan, County Engineer, Jim Smith, County Fiscal Officer, Linda Dorrell, County Purchasing Director and Jim Fissel, Director of Building Operations.

Commissioners awarded Johnson Controls an energy savings performance contract, which covers up to 40 county buildings.

Simonson says commissioners will decide which buildings will get an energy makeover after Johnson conducts an audit. The improvements won't cost taxpayers a dime, Simonson said.

The improvements are paid for by the savings that Johnson Controls, guarantees.

Simonson takes on a variety of activities including meeting with energy company managers and consulting with the National Association of Counties to determine the best practices in developing a county energy program.

“I have found that there are many good practices we can learn from other counties around the country and many resources we can call upon to make the Tulsa County program the best it can be for the citizens of Tulsa County,” Simonson said.

The previously released Performance Audit cited the need for a comprehensive energy policy and plan as a key area where Tulsa County can not only save taxpayers money on current operations but to also prepare Tulsa County for the expected rise of energy costs in the future, Perry said.

“All across the country, county governments are adopting “green” standards and Tulsa County intents to be a leader in Oklahoma in this area” Perry said.

It is expected by the beginning of 2009 the energy team will present to the Board of County Commissioners an energy plan for implementation considerations.

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