Hillsborough County administrators work hard serving their many area neighborhoods. For their ongoing community support, turnabout was fair play when the neighborhood utility helped the County implement energy efficiency measures. These recent cost-effective improvements--following a series of energy audits--earned Hillsborough County the Florida Public Service Commission’s (PSC) quarterly Triple E Award for Energy Efficiency Efforts.
As a longtime advocate of energy conservation and sustainability, Hillsborough County worked with its local utility, Tampa Electric Company (TECO), to implement energy conservation measures (ECM) into its facilities. ECMs implemented over the past few years have included chiller installations and upgrades, cooling upgrades, thermal storage, lighting system retrofits to LED and occupancy sensor controls that provided utility rebates. Hillsborough County also partnered with TECO to conduct energy audits at 63 individual sites that included Head Start facilities, Senior Centers, Fire Stations, Public Libraries, Park and Recreation complexes, and the Frederick B. Karl County Center.
“The County received rebates for our efforts in upgrading our lighting systems to lower our utility bill, reduce our carbon footprint, and provide employee comfort,” said Sheila McNamara, Sustainability Manager, Hillsborough County. “We value the importance of using our county resources wisely and were pleased with the savings we achieved to remain fiscally responsible to the citizens we serve.”
Because of their efforts, Hillsborough County received more than $43,700 in rebates in 2020 alone and is saving more than 1,213,031 kilowatt hours annually. For 2020, the projects’ environmental impact reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 579.83 tons of CO2, 400.30 pounds of NOx, and 145.56 pounds of SO2. Hillsborough County has also demonstrated its commitment to on-site solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Since installing the first solar array on the County Courthouse in 2010, Hillsborough County has completed installations of 12 PV arrays with 13 additional PV arrays planned to be completed by 2021 for a combined total of just under 5,000 kW. Hillsborough County is also utilizing solar for park lighting, traffic control devices, and solar security gates and is working with TECO to develop solar powered resiliency hubs and more.
“Helping our customers to manage their energy usage and costs is important to us,” said Mark Roche, manager of regulatory rates at Tampa Electric. “In an effort to help keep our customers, employees, and contractors safe during this pandemic, our energy experts conducted several contactless phone audits with Hillsborough County’s administrators to ensure that energy conservation measures were implemented and rebates were processed.”
In addition to the many energy efficiency programs the company offers, both Tampa Electric residential and business customers can complete a phone audit by calling Tampa Electric directly at 813-275-3909. The company also offers a free Online Audit to residential customers at www.tampaelectric.com/save.
Covering the state’s five major geographic areas, each quarter the PSC presents its Triple E Award to a local business that has accomplished superior energy efficiency. Look for past Triple E Award recipients under Hot Topics on the PSC’s homepage, www.FloridaPSC.com. The PSC encourages cost-effective conservation and renewable energy to reduce the use of fossil fuels and defer the need for new generating capacity through the Florida Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act.
About Hillsborough County
Hillsborough County provides services and infrastructure to support a diverse population of more than 1.4 million. In addition to County Center in the heart of downtown Tampa, consumers can visit other convenient county offices to pay bills, receive assistance applying for benefits, and obtain important records. For more information, please visit HCFLGOV.net or call 813-272-5900. Also visit HCFLGOV.net/Sustainability to learn more about Hillsborough County’s sustainable projects and green initiatives and to complete the sustainability survey. Click on the link for the “Community Sustainability Action Plan.”
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
Follow the PSC on Twitter, @floridapsc.