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Saving energy on The Ave

by Susan Gillin | Jan 05, 2017

Chelan PUD and the city convention center each have cut their energy use by more than half in the last decade

It's taken some time but, ta-da! (trumpets blare here): We're saving energy in our own building.

Slowly but surely, Chelan PUD has improved the efficiency of its 61-year-old Headquarters Building on Wenatchee Avenue. We’re pleased to report a hefty 55-percent reduction in energy use in the last 10 years.

Just down the street another publicly owned building – the Wenatchee Convention Center – is doing even better, reducing its energy use by 59 percent in the last decade.

Aerial photo of PUD Headquarters Building 2016Jim White, senior energy efficiency engineer, said a combination of steps taken at PUD Headquarters contributed to the drop. The boxes that control the amount of heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) that enters each space were replaced (they're called Variable Air Volume boxes). CO2 sensors were added to control ventilation air. HVAC controls were upgraded. And parking lot lights were replaced with LED (light-emitting diode) fixtures -- better light, less energy.

Interior lights still need changing. White said installing LEDs will likely save another 10 percent to 15 percent of the building’s energy use.

The measures taken to date are saving about $56,000 a year in electricity costs. (Yes, the PUD pays for the power it uses!)

The PUD building was constructed in 1955 and remodeled and expanded several times. (Aerial photo, above right, was taken in 2016.)

At the Convention Center, a project in 2015 replaced failing HVAC equipment with high-efficiency units. The convention center also got a new control system and new LED lighting and lighting controls. In addition to replacing old worn out equipment, the city is saving $34,000 a year on its electric bill.

Chelan PUD’s Resource$mart program paid 10 percent of the $2.9 million cost to upgrade the convention center. Chelan PUD incentives are helping improve efficiency at many public buildings in the county, including Wenatchee Valley College, the Town Toyota Center and the Chelan County Justice facility.

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