Since 2007, Facilities Construction and Maintenance has been evolving energy efficiency and conservation through auditing, research, operational best practices, and capital improvement. The Energy Efficiency Program
benefits Charlotte County both environmentally and monetarily, and provides efficient and effective government through responsible fiscal/financial planning.
Charlotte Sports Park Solar Canopy
County buildings were evaluated with
, which determined inefficiencies and identified areas of repair, replacement, or improvement. Ongoing implementation of these recommendations results in guaranteed annual savings
. Possible areas of inefficiency identified include: facility lighting, lighting controls, sports lighting, HVAC, building envelope, water conservation, salt generators, and geothermal heat pumps. Typical commercial building energy usage
is highest for heating/cooling systems and lighting.
Research and Implement Efficiency Measures
Measures were implemented to increase efficiency in existing facilities. Incandescent and higher wattage light bulbs were replaced with more efficient fluorescent or LED lighting. Green, energy efficient sports lighting has been installed at the fields at North Charlotte Regional Park
, and installation is ongoing to retrofit all recreational fields throughout the County. Additional timers were installed for parking lot lighting and unnecessary lights were disconnected. Timer systems or motion sensors were also installed in county buildings in order to ensure that all lights are shut off during unoccupied times. Programmable thermostats were installed in county facilities in order to reduce the run times of the air conditioning systems. Temperature settings were also adjusted to decrease the run time of the air conditioning during occupied times.
Operational Best Practices
Another key component to energy efficiency is education and training. Many efficiency measures depend on cooperation of building occupants. Behavioral elements such as turning off the lights when not needed, not propping open doors, turning computers off at the end of the day, and many others can also reduce energy consumption and save money spent on electricity.
Capital Improvements and Return on Investment
As technology evolves, energy conservation methodologies must be re-evaluated and implementation strategies must be continuously reviewed to reduce the County’s energy consumption. Research is being conducted to determine feasibility of using
LED sports lighting
at future fields as a form of new technology. Cost-benefit analysis will indicate how quickly energy efficiency measures will provide a return on investment. Additionally, all energy conservation products including solar, thermal, low-flow plumbing fixtures, high efficiency lighting, etc. will be installed on a continuous basis where feasible and appropriate.
FPL SolarNow is a voluntary program that Charlotte County residents may join to contribute toward construction of solar energy projects in host public places. Florida Power & Light offered Charlotte County the opportunity to be a host site. As a host, FPL will install solar "trees
" and "canopies
" on selected County properties at no cost to the County. This opportunity promotes Charlotte County as an environmental steward of clean, renewable energy supporting energy efficiency.