LAURINBURG — Scotland County officials have entered into a contract with a national, multi-million dollar company for the installation of new products in county buildings that they say will save more than a million dollars in energy costs.
According to Kevin Patterson, Scotland County manager, Johnson Controls will oversee the $1.1 million project, which includes new lighting, boilers and cooling and heating units in the Scotland County courthouse, government complex and administrative buildings.
Patterson said the county will be paying about $95,000 less each year in energy bills after installation is complete, allowing for a 17-year repayment of the BB&T loan used to cover the cost of the project.
“The guaranteed energy savings contract will pay for the $1.1 million of installations of all equipment, interest and service cost over the next 17 years,” Patterson said.
The project could begin as early as December and could take anywhere from six to nine months to complete. Simmons Electric is the sub-contractor who has signed on to do the work.
Patterson said the heating and cooling units will replace some that have been in place for 30 years, and in some buildings, new lights will be installed for the first time.
“Since we’re dealing with units that are significantly younger, they require less maintenance,” he said. “They will allow us to provide a better environment, the lighting will be better, it will be more efficient and will provide more light in most places. You’ll actually be able to see the improvements in the buildings.”
Patterson’s estimated price per unit was about $7,000 — $20,000 depending on the size.
Michael McGirt, public building director for the county, said the “more energy-efficient equipment” units in the county’s “three major buildings” will be a more than welcome upgrade.
Patterson said that to avoid shutting down the buildings, the installation process will require parts of buildings to be sectioned off and closed until work in that area is completed.
The upgrades will be in addition to continued maintenance on county buildings such as the replacement of lights and units in the Annex building and during previous expansions to the health department and courthouse.
Patterson added that the new equipment in the Annex Building “cut the energy cost for the building in half.”