Local Government

Resources for Local Governments and Counties

Tutorials/Reports
  • Improving Energy Efficiency in County Buildings - A step-by-step guide to improving energy efficiency in county buildings. Created by the ENERGYSTAR program and the National Association of Counties (NACo).
  • Energy Efficiency & Performance Contracting - A comprehensive guide to performance contracting. Discusses working with an Energy Service Company (ESCo), success stories around the country and more. Created by EnergyStar and NACo.
  • EnergyStar: Tools for America's Counties - Another step-by-step guide to improving energy efficiency in county buildings. Discusses how to obtain funding, how to track savings, how to chose the most money saving projects and more.
  • West Virginia Association of Counties (WVACO) Presentation - A presentation about the potential for Energy Efficiency in WV. This presentation also highlights what various counties and cities are doing around the state to save money and create jobs using energy efficiency.
  • Local Energy Planning in Practice: A Review of Recent Experiences - A report by the American Countil for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). This study reviews the planning activities of a sample of localities that have developed energy-related plans. It summarizes the progress communities have made in their planning processes and analyze the key choices that local leaders make when drawing up strategic energy plans.

Resources for benchmarking and prioritizing efficiency improvements 
  • WVU Industries of the Future program: Nationally recognized program that provides free energy assessments for county governments. Contact: EnergyAssessment@mail.wvu.edu
  • EnergyStar Portfolio Manager: Allows counties to enter data about their buildings and compare the energy performance to similar building types across the country and to the same facility over a period of time. Helps in setting investment priorities, identifying inefficient buildings, and verifying efficiency improvements. www.energystar.gov/benchmark
  • EnergyStar cash flow financial calculator: Helps answer questions like how much new Energy Efficiency equipment can be purchased from the anticipated savings? Should this equipment be financed now or is it better to wait and use cash from a future budget? Find the website here.

Resources for finding efficient products
  • EnergyStar's Purchasing & Procurement Guidelines: Find energy efficient products (heating and cooling, lighting, plumbing, electronics, etc) to purchase at www.energystar.gov/purchasing
  • www.uscommunities.org – Bulk purchasing cooperative that county governments can participate in -  includes EnergyStar products 

Funding Sources
Financing Options
  • General obligation bonds 
  • Lease-purchase agreements: a municipality (lessee) acquires equipment using funds provided by a lender (lessor) and agrees to repay the funds over a set period of time. The debt is secured by the purchased equipment. 
  • ESCOs: an energy service company (ESCO) guarantees a certain level of savings and performs the work; the ESCO is paid back through the energy savings; typically won't work on projects less than $0.5-$1 million. See "Energy Efficiency & Performance Contracting" for more details.
  • Johnson Controls, Noresco, Siemens, Honeywell are major ESCOs. See National Association of Energy Service Companies (www.naesco.org) for more comprehensive lists