Nevada County to save millions with energy efficiency improvements that include solar panels |

Nevada County to save millions with energy efficiency improvements that include solar panels

Nevada County officials are in the engineering phase of an energy efficiency project that, once complete, is expected to save millions of dollars over the next two decades.

The $12 million project will add or replace systems like solar panels and HVAC units, making operations across the county run at a reduced cost. Officials expect the savings gained from the improvements to pay for the project over 20 years.

“Not only do we have less costs per year, we also fund these projects,” said Steve Monaghan, the county’s director of information and general services.

Improvements include replacing old heating and air-conditioning units, some of which are 20 years old; improving interior and parking lot lighting; roof repair at the Crown Point facility; and the installation of solar panels at a handful of county locations, Monaghan states in a June letter to the Board of Supervisors.

According to Monaghan, the county will save $5.8 million over the next 20 years because of the energy efficiency improvements. The county will completely pay off the project’s debt at that time, and realize $1.3 million in savings each year afterward.

Project specifics remain fluid. Monaghan hopes to present the final plans to the board before year’s end.

If approved, it’s expected to take about a year to install the improvements, Monaghan said.

“These environmentally sensitive improvements will not just conserve valuable resources, but save the taxpayers additional expenses in the future,” CEO Rick Haffey said in a statement.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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