Fighting high energy costs by aggressive conservation isn't just for individuals to practice. The City of Rockville has been taking energy-saving measures that have cut its energy costs by $50,000.
With the creation of Energy Technology Office two years ago, Rockville became a pioneer in Maryland for implementing energy conservation measures in city-owned buildings. Rockville city officials feel that by effectively applying existing conservation technology, the energy costs of beating, cooling and lighting city buildings can be cut by 40 percent.
"People have stopped believing the energy crisis is a hoax," said Don Vandery, Rockville's energy planner, "and the momentum is changing toward an effort to reduce energy costs."
The city has reduced energy costs through a number of measures:
Rockville's civic center mansion -- which recorded the highest energy savings of any city building for 1979 with a 19 percent reduction -- underwent modifications to improve temperature control, boiler performance and insulation.
City hall registered a 17 percent decrease in natural gas use because of boiler maintenance and an 11 percent savings in electricity because of improved maintenance of air conditioning and installation of low-watt florescent light bulbs.
In dealing with the city's largest energy consumer, the water filtration plant, Vandrey credits Potomac Electric Power Co. for providing data to help reduce energy costs. The city is spending $32,000 to install a new booster pump and modify another, which is expected to reduce energy use 10 percent and save more than $30,000 of the annual $220,000 electricity bill for the facility.