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Town of Dewitt works with SUNY ESF to conserve energy

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

— And finally, the town began a program through National Grid in mid- 2012 in which it redid all parking lot lights in the lot outside of the municipal building and replaced them with light-emitting diode (LED) lights. Morocco said that over half of the cost of the program was picked up by national grid. Over the course of six months, the town has saved over 18,000kW and about $2,000.

“When we look at all we’ve done and put a dollar value to it, in 2012 alone the town has been able to save over $41,000 based on all of these savings,” Morocco said.

ESF Students

Seven ESF students gave a presentation of their Climate Action Plan, which is based on the data Morocco talked about earlier in the meeting. The students are taking a class in which they’ve been using software to analyze the town’s data and make suggestions for further actions the town could take to improve its sustainability. ESF has been working with the town since 2010, and Morocco said that without the students, the project just wouldn’t work.

“This project is massive because it’s all about data collecting. Without the students, we wouldn’t be where we are right now. It’s a cooperation, and a slow cooperation on our part because our staff has to get the data to them from the various departments. Once we get it to them, it really is amazing and it’s the students who put this project together.”

The students began by explaining their Climate Action Plan, which is a proposal to make buildings, cars, and other tools used by the town more sustainable. The students looked into some of the town’s ongoing and upcoming projects and presented suggestions for the town to help continue to reduce its carbon footprint.

Some recommendations by the students included installing idle timers to the vehicles in the town to automatically shut down idling engines. Another student reported that if the town switched the model of cars to it uses for its police and parks department to a more fuel- efficient brand, it could save thousands more on gas. A different student suggested installing light sensors into rooms in the municipal building to shut off when there’s no movement in the room.

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