OSWEGO, NY – You wouldn’t know it from the weather. But, Oswego County is going green.
Actually, the proper term would be “greener,” according to David Turner, director of the county’s Community Development, Tourism and Planning department.
Barry Leemann, chair of the Oswego County Legislature, created a “Green Team” to make the county more energy efficient and save money.
Besides Turner, the team members include representatives from the county, SUNY Oswego and the Regional Planning Board.
It has been able to access grant funds for energy conservation projects, the chairman noted.
Early last year, by taking advantage of National Grid’s Small Business Program, the county completed energy audits of several buildings and installed energy efficient lighting at Camp Hollis, the Pulaski and Oswego courthouses and the Buildings and Grounds facility in Oswego, he said.
With the help of a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) grant last fall, the county began retrofitting more than 600 light fixtures at the Legislative Office Building on East Bridge Street in Oswego.
The project considerably reduces energy consumption at the facility and is expected to result in an annual savings of approximately $17,500 in utility costs, Turner pointed out.
Certain county departments are looking into the use of more green products, he said, adding that the Highway Department did a test with bio-diesel in one of their trucks to see how that would work.
While several projects have been funded, the county is looking for funds for more projects in the future, Turner said.
The program has already produced savings.
In a six-month period for one of the (lighting) programs, it has saved 35,869 kW hours, Turner pointed out.
“Dollar-wise, we’ve saved $2,600 (in electricity costs) at those three places in six months,” he said. “So we have saved about 10 percent of what we put into the project in just six months.”
The county is committed to being a ‘green,’ Turner said, adding that the Green Team’s efforts will make it even greener.
Families who want to find out how they can reduce utility bills, conserve energy and become more energy independent should visit www.RenewOswegoCounty.org
The site contains information and links to cash incentive programs from federal, state, utility, and third-party sources.