Smiths Falls to take leading role in energy savings

The Smiths Falls Memorial Community Centre is one of the most visible recreational assets in town, but these assets also include many parks and trails. The town is in the process of developing its first long-term plan to guide parks and recreation decision-making.
Posted on: September 5, 2017

Chris Must

The Town of Smiths Falls is ready to implement energy-saving measures that should reduce its energy use by the equivalent of 140 tons of greenhouse gas.

A consultant from technological firm Honeywell told councillors at a special Sept. 5 meeting that much energy savings is the equivalent of taking 47 medium-size cars off the road.

Town officials have been working with Honeywell since February to carry out an energy audit of town buildings, and determine ways to make those buildings more operationally and energy efficient. The energy audit identified 18 cost-saving projects requiring an investment of more than $1 million, councillors were told.

However, Honeywell guarantees that the savings resulting from the projects will offset the costs over a period of 10 to 15 years. “Everything we do with the project is guaranteed to be paid for over a period of time through energy savings,” said Honeywell senior business consultant Scott McLeish in a presentation to council. “Not one taxpayer dollar is being spent on this project.”

McLeish said that if some of the savings fail to materialize, Honeywell would write cheques to make up the difference.

Specific measures to be implemented include installation of LED lighting throughout town buildings. Other improvements to the energy-efficiency of municipal buildings will also be put in place. Control systems for automating the dehumidifier and rink ice systems at the Smiths Falls Memorial Community Centre will be installed. A system to control ice temperature, thickness, and other aspects will insure that “we’re not maintaining more than we need to,” explained Art Manhire, the town’s manager of community services.

Although the town will have to borrow an estimated $1,073,000 from either Honeywell or its bank, McLeish said the company guarantees annual savings of over $82,000, which is eight per cent of the town’s current energy costs. The town should start to see savings within eight months, McLeish added.