NORESCO wins contract for Calif. water, energy savings project

The Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino has contracted with NORESCO for $14.5 million in water and energy conservation measures and related capital improvements. The energy performance contract with NORESCO, a global leader in energy infrastructure solutions and services, will produce average annual savings of $2.4 million over the 20-year contract term. The savings will fund improvements that may not otherwise be possible due to rising utility costs and shrinking HUD subsidies...

WESTBOROUGH, MA, Feb. 29, 2008 -- The Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino (HACSB) has contracted with NORESCO for $14.5 million in water and energy conservation measures and related capital improvements. The energy performance contract with NORESCO, a global leader in energy infrastructure solutions and services, will produce average annual savings of $2.4 million over the 20-year contract term.

The savings will fund improvements that may not otherwise be possible due to rising utility costs and shrinking HUD subsidies. Infrastructure improvements accomplished under the contract will increase energy efficiency in homes, enhance quality of life for residents, and free up significant funds from the Authority's already stretched capital budget. The savings realized from reduced water and energy consumption are guaranteed by NORESCO and will pay for equipment investment, installation, financing, and training for staff and residents.

Dan Nackerman, Executive Director of HACSB, commented, "Water and energy conservation is increasingly becoming a public policy issue that we can no longer choose to ignore. Our performance contract with NORESCO highlights our agency's commitment to managing our operating budget as efficiently as possible, improving our infrastructure, and maximizing resources that protect the environment."

Operating in the dry climate of Southern California, HACSB places a high priority on water efficiency and cost management. Water conservation, a hallmark of the project, is calculated to reduce annual water use by 300 million gallons. NORESCO will install xeriscaping, residential water submeters, and a centralized controls system for irrigation. Xeriscaping is environmentally friendly landscaping that uses indigenous and drought-tolerant plants, shrubs, and groundcover.

Other efficiency measures at HACSB include plumbing fixture upgrades, programmable thermostats, and enrolling residents in an income qualified rate program for electricity and natural gas provided by the utility. The equipment installed will increase reliability, improve resident comfort, and reduce the maintenance burden on HACSB staff.

Barbara Brown, Director of Business Development for NORESCO, said, "HACSB has chosen an energy performance contract with NORESCO to help reconcile the need for repairs, improvements, and new equipment with tightening operating budgets. We are pleased to be a part of this effort to improve housing for HACSB residents."

The project will produce environmental benefits in addition to cost control benefits. Expected annual emissions reductions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases and pollutants total 3.8 million pounds per year. This is equivalent to removing 329 cars from the road or planting 517 acres of trees.

NORESCO is one of the largest U.S. energy service companies, with a dedicated public housing group, specializing in the development, design, construction, financing, and operation of energy and environmental efficiency projects, performance contracting, and central energy plants.

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