Rogersville rejects Siemens $4 million efficiency proposal

Jeff Bobo • Aug 14, 2013 at 11:36 PM

ROGERSVILLE — The Rogersville Board of Mayor and Aldermen rejected a proposed $4.1 million energy efficiency consulting and refitting proposal Tuesday that would have taken more than 14 years to pay off.

A group from Siemens Building Technologies told the Rogersville Board of Mayor and Aldermen last month that a $4.1 million energy efficiency upgrade would pay for itself in almost 14½ years.

During that time, there would be no “out-of-pocket” expenditures by the town, and the debt would be paid from savings the town experiences once Siemens completes the proposed energy efficiency refitting.

Those savings are determined through a study conducted by Siemens, and the savings are guaranteed by Siemens.

All 4,000 city water meters would be replaced with new meters as part of the plan. The plan called for the elimination of meter-reading duties as well as the water department’s $34,000 annual billing cost.

Other aspects of the program include lighting upgrades and controls at City Hall, Rogersville City School and all other city facilities; some lighting control installations at Rogersville City School; and streetlights would also receive LED upgrades.

The Rogersville Water Commission voted against the proposal on Monday.

Siemens was asking for a letter of intent from the city, which would prompt Siemens to conduct further study on potential energy savings. If the BMA approved the letter of intent and later declined to accept the overall program, it would owe Siemens $48,000 to cover costs of the advanced study.

The BMA initially removed the that request from the agenda of Tuesday’s meeting at the request of Siemens.

Tracy Raulerson, Siemens business development manager, had called that afternoon and asked to be taken off the agenda.

“There are some questions that were asked last night at the workshop that we don’t have the answers for yet,” City Attorney Bill Phillips told the board. “Particularly the financing. The bond council is out of town.”

At the end of the meeting, however, Alderman Mark DeWitte and Vice Mayor Craig Kirkpatrick asked that the issue be brought back up for a vote. The voice vote was unanimous to reject.

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