Town seeking to cut energy-related costs

Published 7:23 am Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Staff Writer

BELHAVEN — A facilities-maintenance program for town-owned properties was presented by Dean Burbage, the town’s building official, as a way to help the town not waste energy.
“The biggest thing that I’ve seen with a lot of our facilities is obviously the age of the buildings,” Burbage told the Town Council on Monday. “I’ve tried to include the history with all of our facilities in the report as well.”
Burbage said energy-saving measures for the town’s fire station would be to explore possibilities of equipping HVAC units with economizers, adopt and adhere to a regular maintenance plan for all building service systems and, given the recent renovations to the fire station, making sure the fire station complies with the state’s existing energy code.
Burbage went from facility to facility, checking the buildings’ exteriors and interiors. He also looking over their foundations, porches, roofs, doors/frames, walls and ceilings, heating and ventilation systems, gas piping and more.
Burbage noted that the fire station, built in 1975 as a municipal building, is the newest of the town-owned buildings.
Burbage examined the Charlie H. Smith Community House that was constructed in 1935.
According to Burbage, energy-saving measures for the Charlie H. Smith Community House include adding insulation to floors and ceilings, installing replacement windows, adopting daylight measures when the building is occupied, upgrade to more energy-efficient lighting, installing a high-efficiency water heater; consider solar heating and water-heating options and more.
“I think with adherence to a good energy plan, a lot of money could be saved,” Burbage said.
Mayor Adam O’Neal commended Burbage on his presentation.
“Not only do we have a good history of the buildings,” he said, “but he’s also included as to what kind of infrastructure is in each building, as far as HVAC and so on. He also has ideas of ways to save money for each building.
“I, myself, can’t tell you how much I appreciate what you’ve done here. This is certainly the most in-depth report we have received on these buildings.”
O’Neal praised Burbage for inspecting each town-owned facility to determine where energy savings could be made.
“Because to be able to save $5,000 a year for heating costs and electricity would be great,” he said. “I think Councilman (Steve) Carawan will greatly appreciate it as well, as this is something he’s been trying to get accomplished for a while.”
O’Neal wants Burbage to attend another council meeting so Carawan may go over more things with him.
Councilmen Steve Carawan and McKee “Mac” Pigott Jr. were absent from the meeting because they were out of the state.