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Wilton

Audit to target Town Hall’s energy usage

Energy Committee seeking grant to offset costs; board expects to ask voters for funds to make updates

  • The Wilton Energy Committee is seeking a grant to look at energy conservation possibilities in the Town Hall.
  • The Wilton Energy Committee is seeking a grant to look at energy conservation possibilities in the Town Hall.
  • The Wilton Energy Committee is seeking a grant to look at energy conservation possibilities in the Town Hall.
  • The Wilton Energy Committee is seeking a grant to look at energy conservation possibilities in the Town Hall.

WILTON — The town will be looking at ways to improve energy efficiency at the Town Hall, the Select Board decided Monday night. They will start with an energy audit, which could lead to a warrant request for energy upgrades at this year’s Town Meeting.

During the board’s meeting on Monday night, Select Board member Rick Swanson said he supported efforts to make the building energy efficient. “We spend $100,000 on electricity and heating oil every year, and that’s significant,” he said.

The Wilton Energy Committee noted that they have identified and applied for a $1,000 grant but will need an additional $600 to complete an energy audit of the Town Hall. Though the audit is relatively inexpensive, it can identify energy inefficiencies in the building and make recommendations for ways to save energy, which can range from small-ticket items to large investments. The hope is that after reviewing the audit, the Select Board would go before the public during Town Meeting with a warrant article to request some of the improvements, said Swanson.

“To put that into perspective, [$600] is what we pay for heat and electricity for this building per month,” said Swanson.

Select Board member Kermit Williams said that he was in favor of the audit itself, saying, “I’m all in favor for an audit like this. It’s a relatively small amount of money for some good suggestions.” However, he added would like to talk to neighboring towns, such as Temple and Peterborough, to see if improvements to their own buildings have yielded the promised results, before moving ahead with any renovations to the building.

Department of Public Works Director Steve Elliott questioned whether using the energy audit on a less problematic building might provide a better gauge of reasonable improvements, and have a better chance of being accepted at Town Meeting. The 15-year-old police station and the new fire station were both suggested.

Energy Committee member Alison Meltzer noted that the committee had picked the Town Hall because of its prominent status as a landmark in town, but added that the committee would like to turn its eye to the police station after an audit of the Town Hall.

Former Selectman Jerry Green suggested that the board not appropriate any funds until the committee had secured the grant. Swanson responded that even if the board was not willing to commit the funds without the grant in hand, he would still like a consensus on whether the board would be willing to support an energy audit, if the grant was secured.

Swanson made a motion that the board support the Energy Committee’s efforts to fund an energy audit of the Town Hall, and to commit $600 toward matching a grant, subject to the availability of town funds and contingent upon the committee securing the grant. The motion passed unanimously.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ex. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaari.

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