Money Saving Technology Initiative Moves Forward


Earlier this year, The City worked with Johnson Controls, Inc. and the Energy Office of the Kansas Corporation Commission to perform an audit of City facilities identifying measures that would result in energy cost savings for the organization with on-going positive impacts. As a result of the audit, nine specific measures were identified.

Last Tuesday, the City of Olathe entered into a contract with Johnson Controls, Inc., to develop a program implementing those measures. The program, titled the Facility Conservation Improvement Program (FCIP), will begin in the next few weeks and last 18 months.

The nine measures being implemented include simple projects such as using solar panels to heat the water in the City's fleet carwash as well as innovative changes like using used motor oil from city vehicles to replace natural gas as an energy source to heat a City building.

In addition, residential water meters will be replaced with new devices that can be consistently monitored by the City. This will not only insure more accurate and efficient monitoring, but it will allow the City to identify "spikes" in usage that result from issues like a running toilet, an outside water hose left dripping, plumbing leaks or a sink left running when a customer is out of town. When "spikes" are detected, customers will be notified by phone or email, rather than discovering the problem in their next bill.

Other initiatives include replacing older pumps at the water treatment plant with new more efficient Variable Frequency Drives, centralizing HVAC control and settings, and using existing back-up generators to power some City facilities during peak electricity usage times.

The FCIP is sponsored by the State of Kansas and the program will be funded through a third party lease agreement. The lease is paid with cost savings revenue. Once those costs are repaid, all savings will be completely realized by the City.  As a result, the program costs will not impact the City's budget.