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For the price of admission, Natrona County may be able to save money by making its buildings more energy efficient, a representative of a Denver-based company said Tuesday.

“The obligation is you give us access to your facilities, you give us access to your utility bills,” David Stout told the county commissioners at their work session.

“In return, I would bring my engineers up and look at the facilities and we would put together a utility bill analysis and put together solution ideas,” Stout said.

This “decision schedule” drawn up by his company, Ennovate Corp., would mark the first step toward developing a feasibility study, proposal and an investment-grade audit to assess buildings and energy savings.

That audit would then be used to work with the Wyoming Energy Conservation Improvement Program through the Wyoming Business Council, which works with the state energy program.

The Legislature in 2007 created WYECIP, which went dormant and was relaunched in July, Stout said.

He’s promoting both his company and the program, which can help local governments and school districts by assisting with the investment-grade audits, he said.

This program allows local governments and school districts to improve their buildings without issuing bonds or raising taxes, because the long-term savings cover costs, Stout said.

Improvements can range from caulk around the doors and windows to replacing lighting to heating, air conditioning and ventilation improvements, he said.

Commission Chairman Ed Opella said the county redid its lighting a few years ago.

Stout said lighting upgrades represent a fairly easy way to increase energy efficiency, because of rebate programs. “Lighting is typically low-hanging fruit.”

Opella said the Townsend Justice Center, which opened two years ago, was outfitted with the best available equipment in heating and windows.

But the Townsend has racked up large electric bills, Commissioner Rob Hendry noted.

Stout responded that equipment alone isn’t enough.

“The newer buildings, there’s all this state-of-the-art stuff that’s put in them, but if you don’t actually tweak it and make adjustments to it, it will be very costly,” he said.

National energy-related companies such as Johnson Controls and Trane have their own energy efficiency products, but Ennovate is an energy engineering company, Stout said. “We’re not selling a product, but selling a service.”

Those companies also take on multimillion dollar projects and may not be suited to serving Wyoming’s rural communities, he said.

Ennovate has been in discussions or entered arrangements with Park and Campbell counties, Cody, Gillette, Lusk and Jackson. It also is working with hospitals and recreation centers, Stout said.

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Reach Tom Morton at 307-266-0592, or at tom.morton@trib.com. You can read his blog at trib.com and follow him on Twitter @GTMorton.

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