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Energy Conservation Performance Contracts Not Available to Cities and Counties
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by Roger Dotson | 2008

According to state court decisions, cities and counties are not eligible to participate in Energy Conservation Performance Contracts which are available per West Virginia State Code

Since you’re a responsible citizen of this planet, let’s say you want to make a major investment in your house to increase energy efficiency. One way to pay for this is to demonstrate the savings that this investment would provide and then ask a bank for a loan, which would be repaid with your savings. Unfortunately, it is not so easy for local governments. West Virginia State Code 5A-3B does provide for Energy Conservation Performance Contracts, which allow state agencies to fund improvements through savings on utility costs. However, according to state court decisions, cities and counties are not state agencies and are not eligible to participate in Energy Conservation Performance Contracts.

This tool could be very useful for local governments. According to Dan Boroff, Morgantown City Manager, the City of Morgantown will be conducting a detailed energy conservation study of its municipal facilities (City Hall, Public Safety Building, Library, Public Works Garage, Airport, Ice Rink, and Traffic Signals). It is anticipated that improvements necessary to these sites for energy conservation will cost in excess of $1,000,000. It is very difficult to budget for such high cost investments.

With a relatively simple amendment to the law, local governments, such as cities and counties, could qualify to use Energy Conservation Performance Contracts. Such an amendment in the upcoming Legislative Session would be an important tool for the City of Morgantown, and other local governments, to make these improvements. Please consider discussing this issue with your representative to the West Virginia legislature.

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