Town of Dewitt works with SUNY ESF to conserve energy

In 2012, the town saved over $41,000 by reducing its carbon footprint

— The Town of Dewitt has been working with SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry students for over three years now to reduce both its carbon footprint and the amount of money spent by the town. On March 20, the town’s Sustainability Committee held a meeting for any residents interested in both learning how the town has been conserving energy and money and giving their input as to what the town can do to keep residents informed about the importance of sustainability.

Dewitt town manager Mike Morocco began the meeting with an overview of the highlights and achievements of the town’s efforts over the past three years to improve sustainability and save money. He explained that many of the new features are allowing for the town to see improvements in both areas.

The town installed a solar ray (which is essentially the same as a solar panel) on the roof on the municipal building. Since its installation in late 2011, the solar ray has produced over 51,000 kW of electricity and saved the town over $11,000.

Also worth noting is the town’s fuel consumption, which went significantly down over the last few years. In 2012, the town saved about $17,000 in fuel due to a couple factors. Firstly, the town took a hard look at how many vehicles were assigned to each job site and made sure they only set just as many as were required to get the job done.

Secondly, they began to crack down on idling vehicles. The town requested that any trucks on site be turned off if not in use. Morocco said the police department was a key factor to the reduced cost last year.

“They turned off their cars and didn’t idle them at certain locations,” he said. “The police department alone used 140,078 gallons of gas in 2011. In 2012, they reduced it to 126,894, which saved us 14,080 gallons of gas by simply not idling their cars. That saved us over $8,000 in expenses.”

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