The City of St. Louis is improving its energy efficiency via the Energy Department’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program.
St. Louis identified its City Hall as a building that could benefit from a retrofit, according to a blog posting at Energy.gov.
Before making upgrades, the city conducted an energy audit of the building and determined that when taking into account the total number of hours in the year, the building was only occupied 40 percent of those hours. The city saw an opportunity to reduce energy use for the other 60 percent of the year when the systems require minimal operation.
EECBG funds were leveraged for HVAC retrofits, internal lighting upgrades, direct digital control upgrades and whole building lighting upgrades, resulting in energy savings up to 50 percent.
Additionally, 52 outdated metal halide lamp fixtures were replaced with LED fixture tops in the City Hall parking structure. The new LED fixtures deliver more useful light where it is needed and use a total of 1.3 kWh, compared to the 7.8 kWh required by the previous lighting, for an energy savings of nearly 83 percent.
The city also identified several individual projects where it could increase energy efficiency. Leaders used about $200,000 of their $3.7 million EECBG grant along with private donations to create the City of St. Louis Sustainability Plan, which was formally adopted by the city’s Planning Commission in January. The plan was developed over an 18-month period, and hundreds of individuals interested in making St. Louis more sustainable participated in the process.