Government is going green | ParkRecord.com

Government is going green

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

Summit County hopes to save money by going green.

But just how environmentally friendly is the government?

The Summit County Council hopes a committee will find out where department heads can reduce their energy consumption.

"Regulations will be coming, we will be asked to reduce our greenhouse impact. So we have to figure out what it is," Summit County Public Works Administrator Kevin Callahan told the County Council April 29. "It is doable. It just takes a concentrated effort to get there."

County officials hope to offset electricity costs at a building in Coalville by installing solar paneling on the roof of the house at 45 E. 100 North, which houses the Utah State University Extension Services office.

"We should be able to equal the power consumption of that building," Deputy Public Works Administrator Rick Dunford said. "There would be no further out-of-pocket costs to the county."

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Each year the building uses about 6,116 kilowatts of electricity, which costs Summit County roughly $625, Dunford said.

Passersby will see the solar panels in action, said Mike Crystal, facilities manager for Summit County.

"They would see them right there on the building," Crystal said.

Dunford expects Rocky Mountain Power to help pay to install the photovoltaic equipment.

"It’s quite expensive to put in, which is why we’re asking for a grant," Dunford said.

Meanwhile, Summit County qualifies to receive an "energy efficiency block grant" from the federal stimulus package, which could help fund more energy-efficient government facilities, Park City Environmental Sustainability Manager Diane Foster said.

"You actually need to apply for that money," Foster told the Summit County Council.

The plan earmarks about $154,500 for Summit County, Foster said.

"I talk to a lot of people, who say, ‘I don’t believe in climate change,’" Foster said. "I say, ‘that’s great, we both believe in saving money.’"