The City of Lynwood is located in Los Angeles County, California. A key responsibility for the City is to create a healthy, safe, sustainable and prosperous community. With that in mind, the City was looking for ways to lower their energy costs and be more efficient in how they were using energy across their infrastructure.
The City joined the Gateway Cities Energy Leader Partnership in 2014, which provides support to local governments to help them address energy efficiency and sustainability. The City observed other cities implement energy savings projects, and the team decided this was an initiative they wanted to pursue for their own community.
In 2018, the City of Lynwood rolled out their Energy Action Plan with the assistance of the Energy Leader Partnership, creating benchmarks and recommendations they should pursue. The Plan involved updating antiquated HVAC systems that were at the end of their useful lifespan and becoming expensive to maintain, along with exterior lighting and street lighting upgrades. Through an existing partnership, the City brought in Centrica Business Solutions to scope, plan, and implement the upgrades.
Centrica Business Solutions carried out the conversions in a ten-month-long project, with 99% of construction complete within four months. They replaced aging HVAC systems, which will make measurable improvements to performance and efficiency and create healthier indoor environments. In addition, they converted exterior lighting to more efficient LED. Seven locations received energy efficiency upgrades – City Hall, Community Center & Transit Station, Natatorium, Youth Center, Bateman Hall, Senior Center, and Public Works Yard.
Lighting upgrades for the City’s parks – Lynwood Park, Burke-Ham Park, Rose Park, and Adolfo Medina Park – will enable more efficient energy use while creating a safer community in line with the City’s mission.
The most significant piece of this project was converting the City-owned streetlights to LED. Centrica Business Solutions converted 1,400 streetlights throughout the City and installed four transformers, improving light levels on the streets – which will increase safety.
Upgrading 1,400 streetlights did not come without its challenges. It was determined that the streetlights were not controlled in the way the Centrica Business Solutions team initially thought. However, their team of experts quickly determined the root cause and did everything in their power to minimize delays to the project by resolving the challenges quickly.
It was much faster than I thought it was going to be. It’s great to be able to engage an ESCO like Centrica Business Solutions. Energy efficiency is what they do. They’re experts. If we had done this on our own, it would have dragged on for a while.”
Lorry Hempe, Public Works Special Projects Manager, City of Lynwood
With these upgrades, the City of Lynwood will reduce their energy output by 1,107,800 kWh and therms of natural gas by 150 each year. This translates into $97,500 in annual utility costs savings and offsets the CO2 emissions from over 867,000 pounds of coal burned. In addition, the City will avoid paying $25,500 in annual maintenance costs by upgrading their HVAC systems.
The new, efficient HVAC systems secure building safety and comfort. The lighting upgrades offer outdoor security and safety. In addition, the City can use their energy and maintenance cost savings to reinvest into other City initiatives to better the community.
The City funded their project with a low-interest loan through the California Energy Commission, which offers funding opportunities for public entities to advance California’s transition to clean energy.
Are you looking to reduce energy costs by optimizing your lighting systems? Organizations are discovering that by upgrading lighting, they can also improve employee performance in visual and cognitive tasks, reduce fatigue, improve reaction times and boost morale.
Are you looking to update aging, inefficient mechanical systems? Mechanical systems directly impact the comfort, health, and productivity of your employees – and upgrading inefficient systems dramatically reduces energy and maintenance costs.
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