Orlando borrowing green to go green - FOX 35 News Orlando

Orlando borrowing green to go green

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ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) - The City of Orlando will borrow $17 million to do another round of trying to make its buildings more energy efficient. This time, they anticipate making much more money off the venture. City Sustainability Director Jon Ippel says 56 buildings the city owns will get a makeover.

"Really, looking at what are cost-effective measure we can do that these investments in new technology and processes will save money over the long term."

Orlando plans to look at every possible way for energy savings. For example, at City Hall, they plan to replace the aging existing elevators with new ones that produce their own energy each time the elevator slows down, putting efficiencies into an area that was costing them. The Geico Garage will also get a makeover. Ippel says the city has found a type of garage light that will save them four watts per bulb.

"Just for that four watts, times the 2,000 light fixtures that are in there, you are actually starting to save some really substantial amounts of money over the long term, so the idea is how do we replicate that?"

Even though the Amway Center just opened in 2010 and is the first ever Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified arena, Ippel says more can be done there as well.

"Just the way the economics and technologies have changed so rapidly, we can now go in there and look at lighting upgrades like LED lights that weren't cost effective back in 2008 when we designed the building."

The city says it is already saving $140,000 a year on changes already made, but this time they plan to save enough energy to pay back this $17 million loan, plus make the mortgage payments on the new Orlando Police Department headquarters, once that is built.

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