Huntington Woods energy plan aims to save money, increase efficiency

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published April 9, 2019


HUNTINGTON WOODS — The Huntington Woods City Commission passed an energy plan that is meant to lay a framework for policies and initiatives that could make the city more energy efficient and save costs.

The commission passed at its April 2 meeting an energy plan that was developed with both city staff and EcoWorks, a nonprofit organization that focuses on energy education, green building and sustainable communities.

The plan, according to city documents, features six recommendations on how Huntington Woods can implement energy management strategies related to project selection and implementation, funding, staffing, policies and procedures, data, and communications.

“We think this will be good to put it in, take a look at things from a budgetary perspective, and make sure that we do put some effort into energy-saving initiatives,” City Manager Amy Sullivan said.

EcoWorks’ report also includes an action plan for what Huntington Woods needs to do in order to achieve its goals, and the time frame to complete the goals. One component is to review the existing capital improvement plan to identify any equipment that is due for replacement and adopt a life cycle costing approach to equipment replacement decisions.

City Commissioner Joe Rozell said he thinks there are some things that Huntington Woods can get a move on right now.

“It was particularly interesting about the recommendation for sort of a part-time energy manager,” he said. “The long-range budget committee is sort of looking at things, and we’re kind of in flux. It’s difficult maybe to do everything in here, including that position, but it would be something that as they complete their work and we’re looking at our budget, you know, would it make sense to bring on someone part time to sort of usher in this energy plan and some of these initiatives?”

Rozell said the city needs to look at the plan in terms of the big picture, but he still thinks there are some things they could do right away that are low cost, while other things can be looked at down the road and factor into the big picture.

“It doesn’t mean they’re not important, and at some point we may want to be able to do that,” he said.

The commission also approved an amendment of the Environmental Advisory Committee bylaws to include the energy plan’s goals and vision, and passed the municipal energy vision statement that was prepared by the EAC.

Sullivan said the vision statement was one of the suggested items in the energy plan.

“It helps to focus the city on our projects going forward and making sure that we do look at things from a sustainability standpoint,” she said.