The Seventh Judicial District Attorney’s office will be getting a new HVAC system. The office currently uses window mounted air conditioners.
File photo

The Socorro County Commission has given the go-ahead to Yearout Energy of Albuquerque to begin implementing a $3.5 M project which will result in overall energy savings for county-run facilities.

As a first step, Yearout Energy performed an investment-grade audit which entailed planning, measuring, collecting and analyzing data that would result in energy savings across 24 buildings throughout the County.

“We did that energy-saving analysis about a year and eight months ago, and as it progressed we included different targets on our ICIP,” County Manager Michael Hawkes said.

The analysis encompassed a detention center, office spaces, public health buildings, fire stations, maintenance shops, senior centers, District Attorney’s Office and the District Courthouse.

“The commission has authorized utilizing the $200-plus thousand out of our funds which are earmarked for ventilation in congregate settings,” Hawkes said. “We’re now working with a local bank to fund the rest of the project on a 20-year loan. It’s all based on energy savings.”

He said the money saved in energy costs, “will either make or assist us to make the loan payment.

“That’s for 20 years but the life cycle of everything we’re doing will be at least 22 years, so we’ll have cost savings throughout this entire process, hopefully,” Hawkes said. “That’s the idea.”

In all, the savings estimates for Socorro County comprise:

  • Year 1 Guaranteed Utility Savings – $75,980
  • Year 1 Operations and Maintenance Savings – $21,043
  • Anticipated Utility Rebates – $36,368
  • Reduction in Annual Emissions (lbs CO2) – 252 metric tons
  • Reduction in Annual Utility Costs – 31.3 percent

Yearout Energy is an Energy Services Company that performed the months-long analysis on the county buildings.

“The investment-grade audit helps us establish a baseline performance for each facility from which the proposed improvements will be measured in order to assist the County with reducing utility and operational costs, standardize equipment, improve occupant comfort and reduce the environmental impact of Socorro County,” said Ian Montaño, project development manager.

The approved contract includes upgrading approximately 1,000 existing lighting fixtures to LED technology, the installation of solar photovoltaic systems at multiple sites, new HVAC equipment and controls, a new roof for the County Courthouse, remediation of building envelope air leaks, water conservation measures at the senior centers, and installation of surge protection.

“Socorro County has a rich history of culture, scientific research, geology and recreation,” Hawks said in a press release from Yearout. “We’re excited to expand upon these cornerstones by upgrading our facilities to meet the needs of the county while reducing our carbon footprint through a comprehensive guaranteed savings approach.”