By Natalie Sejnost
Clinton Chronicle Staff Writer
Clinton County is taking major steps in reducing their energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The press release, which took place in December of 2011, said that Clinton County is seeking to become one of mid-Michigan’s leaders in alternative lighting technologies.
The county was generously awarded a substantial grant of $87,000 from Michigan’s own energy office. The coordinator of this lighting project, Jerry Jaloszynski, is extremely optimistic about making significant strides in decreasing the energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
“This philosophy has been with Clinton County for a while now,” said Jaloszynski, “We are extremely focused on energy efficiency and reducing those costs as much as possible.”
LED lighting is one of several new energy-efficient lighting technologies that are starting to become available to the public and are in the marketplace. What many do not know is that LED lighting is expanding to commercial lighting. The lighting project is taking initiative in numerous different properties across the county. This includes the Health Department, the County Courthouse, the Sheriff’s Office, the County jail, and Building and Grounds Facility and the beach house at the County Park.
“We intend to replace the three large boilers in the courthouse with two smaller ones that will greatly reduce energy costs,” stated Jaloszynski, “We expect these improvements to make significant changes in reducing the energy outputs.”
The Energy Office of Michigan must give credit to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for providing the funds. This act, passed in February of 2009, is an economic stimulus package enacted by the United States Congress. It is intended to provide temporary relief programs for those most impacted by the recession and invest in the infrastructure, education, health, and green energy. This grant covered a substantial 67 percent of the total cost of the project.
The county is making tremendous progress in the new lighting technologies and the reduction of the energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The actual amount of money saved from the project will not be known until after two years of it being in operation. It estimates the annual electric savings to be around $20,000. The project will essentially pay for itself in about six years.
“Reducing energy consumption by two percent is our ultimate goal, and we have already met that goal,” said Jaloszynski.
Clinton County is also promoting a clean transportation by encouraging carpooling and bike riding when commuting to and from work, recreational use, and exercise.
“The underlying goal here is mainly to operate in the most responsible and resourceful way possible while still providing to the citizens Clinton County.”
For more information about the county’s green initiative, visit Clinton-County.Org/Government/BoardofCommissioners/GreenGovernment.aspx. Clinton County is continuing to make significant headway in reducing emissions from motor vehicles, and hope to continue this trend in the future.