Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Energy Chair's thoughts on performance contracting in Cheshire

This past weekend I posted about an article that appeared in the NHR. The article was about a "conversation" between me and some of my Council colleagues at last Thursday's budget committee meeting.

Luther Turmelle reported:

"It's incumbent upon you to bring forward some examples* of where this works," Altieri said to White. "What you're talking about is going to be a huge undertaking."

White responded with a thinly veiled accusation hurled at the Democratic majority on the council regarding what he has said is its unwillingness to address the performance contracting issue.

"Either we are serious about energy savings or we're not," White said.

And while I was visibly upset with the footdragging on last year's promise, I'm not exactly alone in questioning the reality of the situation.

After I found the article online, I emailed it to the Energy Commission Chairman. The following is the unedited response he sent to the Energy Commission, the Council and others:

Over the past couple of years I must have brought at least two dozen examples of performance contracting to the attention of various members of the Council and Mr. Milone.

It is time that the Council addresses the subject of performance contracting and makes an informed decision whether or not it makes sense for the Town of Cheshire. The federal government makes extensive use of performance contracting, as do numerous state and municipal governments thoughout the US and elsewhere in the world. There are dozens of certified contractors who do this kind of work, one of which made a presentation to the Council budget committee last December. There is a wealth of information available for consideration. The time is long overdue for the Council to devote time to study the facts and make a decision.

The Energy Commission has long advocated for performance contracting. It is a proven process that can be tailored to meet the Town's needs. Financing is not a necessary part of the concept, although many users find that this is a valuable component. The major advantage is the ability to get our arms around all of the potential large ticket energy cost savings projects at one time instead of piece-mealing them like we've been doing for many years. The use of a professional energy services company makes it an extremely effective and guaranteed way of achieving energy cost reduction goals.

I hope the pushback is nothing more than the result of a lack of understanding of the process, although this seems hard to believe given the amount of information that has been disseminated to the council over the past five years or so. If this is the case, the information can be presented again. This is something that cannot be ignored, especially during the current energy crisis.

Rich Ogurick
Chairman, Cheshire Energy Commission

Rich gave me permission to post this here. But his voice is not alone. Among other Energy Commission members there seems to be two views:

1) The Council is wrong about this for partisan reasons
2) The Council is wrong about this because they don't understand it

Either way, most reasonable people agree that the Council is wrong.

Too bad for those of us who are concerned about energy conservation and possibly saving money.

Tim White

* I'm also wondering why Mr. Altieri didn't just ask his own friend about performance contracting.


Anonymous said...

This is incredible that the current council hasn't even addressed this issue with the way energy costs are skyrocketing.
Perhaps if the pulled their collective heads out of the artificial turf study, they can get some real problems solved.
I am not so sure this town can handle another year of this council!

Anonymous said...

I thought the majority party was for "change" and "new ideas". Or is that only a campaign slogan?

Altieri, Ecke, and Hall are so smugly comfortable, they think they can get away with anything. Too bad we have to wait 14 months to vote for real change.

Anonymous said...

RE: Altieri, Ecke, and Hall are so smugly comfortable, they think they can get away with anything.

Theirs is a case of "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" (Acton).

Its time for a CHANGE in CHESHIRE.

Annmarie said...

Altieri and Esty looking bad after the other nights performance on this subject. I'm not sure how Esty gets caught up in these things(town clerk bashing). I figured her to be sharper than this. As a Dem it is becoming oh so clear that some of my reps have a different agenda then serving the tax payer. I read this blog to get all the info/point of views i can....though Tim takes the occassional whooping from the Dems...he does back up his talk with evidence from this blog so I tend to believe him when he speaks..the attached letter form the Energy Commissioner is another prime example.

Anonymous said...

Esty gets caught up in these things(town clerk bashing).

I don't think she gets caught up in it, I think she instigates it in hope of winning political support for the next position that she seeks.

Bill said...

At least the political system of communism provided direction. There was an established goal and people knew how to attain the goal. Makes no difference if you agree, much like the current majority party. To be fair I would say the same based on their performance or lack thereof.

In the interest to support your political party the individual has lost site of the goal that is to improve the overall community in which they live without special interest of personal goals like staying in an elected position.