Wilna presented with energy study

June 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

CARTHAGE — Gerald K. Loch, an independent contractor for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, told the Wilna Town Council about possible energy savings for the municipality.

Mr. Loch presented the board last week with an energy audit conducted by Fourth Coast Inc., Clayton, that outlined savings if a photovoltaic system is installed. The report analyzed four town sites: Water District 2, the transfer site, town offices and the town barn. Of the four sites, the transfer station was found to have the “most favorable electric usage and utility rate to support an effective PV system.”

NYSERDA offers incentives to offset installation costs for solar panels.

The Town Council will review the findings to make a determination.

Mr. Loch also passed out forms for energy audits through NYSERDA. The EmPower New York program provides no-cost energy efficiency services for income-qualified households. The program replaces old, inefficient appliances, installs high-efficiency lighting and offers tips on ways to conserve energy. In some cases, it provides insulation or other energy-efficiency measures. Basically anyone who is eligible for the Home Energy Assistance Program or food stamps qualifies for the EmPower program.

Having received a $5,400 reimbursement from the state in conjunction with the recent town property revaluation, the board approved a request from town Assessor Robert B. Ball for new equipment. Mr. Ball was approved to spend up to $2,000 to purchase Outpost software through Systems Development Group Inc., Utica, a tablet computer device and the supporting phone data package. The Outpost software allows the user to collect data in the field and transmit the information via the Internet. When doing fieldwork, the assessor will be able to file his reports to Jefferson County without returning to the office.

The program also has geographic information system capabilities with a tax map overlay to ensure the assessor has the correct property. After the initial purchase, the cost to maintain the program will be budgeted.

During public comment, Ann M. Beutel, owner of Superior Computer Services, questioned the board about her services. Last month she expressed concern over a lost service contract for the town’s computer system to Advanced Business Systems. In a letter to the board she said that her business’s block service time rate is $75 while Advance’s is $79, and that other price differences between the companies were minimal. The council has an outstanding block of time with Superior valued at $450.

Town Supervisor Paul H. Smith told Ms. Beutel that since professional services do not have to go out to bid, the decision was solely that of the town clerk. When asked about the remaining block service time, Mr. Smith said, “If she (the town clerk) wants to call you, she will call you.”

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