Bright Energy Solutions

Local businesses recognized for energy efficiency

Three local entities have been honored by the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities for their exceptional energy efficiency efforts.

Northwestern College, MOC-Floyd Valley Community Schools, and Orange City Health System were among only 10 municipal utility customers throughout the state receiving Customer Recognition Awards at the IAMU Energy Conference in Des Moines earlier this month. Bryan Gerritson, Orange City director of public works, accepted plaques on the customers’ behalf.

“We are privileged to serve these customers and others who have made a commitment to being more energy efficient,” Gerritson said. “Saving energy not only helps our customers save money, it also helps the entire community,” he added. “Reducing our peak electric demand allows us to delay construction or reduce the size of our next power plant, and helps keep our rates as low as possible.”

Northwestern was honored for its recently-dedicated Learning Commons. The three-story, 58,000-square-foot structure houses the school’s library, multimedia center, coffee shop and a large community room. Through numerous projects over the past several years, the college has made a deliberate effort to improve energy efficiency on its campus, and the Learning Commons is no exception. In an effort to incorporate energy efficiency as cost-effectively as possible, Northwestern participated in the New Construction Design Review program offered by Orange City Municipal Utilities and its power supplier, Missouri River Energy Services. Compared to code requirements, the Learning Commons provides savings of more than 119 kW of peak demand, more than 141,500 kWh of energy and about 12,338 therms of natural gas. The college received an incentive of $42,160 through the Bright Energy Solutions program, offered by Orange City Municipal Utilities and MRES.

The MOC-Floyd Valley School District was honored for a major project in 2012 to upgrade all the lighting in the high school and elementary in Orange City, as well as the middle school in Alton. The project resulted in annual energy savings of more than 244,000 kilowatt hours, and demand savings of about 94 kilowatts. The district received a rebate of more than $35,700 from Orange City Municipal Utilities and Alton Municipal Utilities.

The former Orange City hospital is owned by Orange City Area Health System and is home to a variety of health care offices and conference rooms, as well as a senior center. Earlier this year, nearly 1,300 old fluorescent T-12 fixtures in the facility were replaced with a low-wattage 28-watt T-8 system. The project resulted in annual energy savings of more than 156,400 kWh and a demand savings of about 43 kW. Orange City Area Health System received a rebate of about $13,000.