The Carter County commissioners are looking to make their buildings more energy efficient through Oklahoma Gas and Electric’s Schools and Government Efficiency Program.  

At their regular meeting Monday, commissioners tabled a motion to enroll the sheriff’s department and jail into the program. OG&E and CLEAResult representative Trey Parsons walked the commissioners through what the process would look like if they choose the program to improve the energy efficiency of the county’s buildings, and what kind of money it would save.  

The Carter County jail and sheriff’s office lighting system has already been assessed by CLEAResult. Parsons said that by upgrading the lighting fixtures the county could save 14 cents per kilowatt hour, which would ultimately save them tens of thousands of dollars each year. 

“It really sheds a lot of light into how much money can be saved,” Parsons told the commission. “OG&E wants to teach people how to save energy because it’s more cost effective for them to do this than build new power plants.” 

Under the Schools and Government Efficiency Program, OG&E provides incentive funding for energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits based on the measures that the organization chooses. These incentives can cover up to 90 percent of the cost of purchasing and installing the equipment, but the funds are limited as CLEAResult has a set amount of money from OG&E to distribute through the program. 

CLEAResult provides analyses, insights, recommendations and master plans that will help organizations and businesses make decisions to improve their energy efficiency. 

The county jail and sheriff’s office could receive a $16,000 incentive if they move forward with the suggested lighting improvements, which would include retrofitting all of their existing lights with LED bulbs. 

Other options the county could look at, not just for the jail, but for all its buildings are: ENERGY STAR cool roofing, lighting controls that sense people in the room, HVAC— DX retrofitting or new construction, PC power management, or vending misers— a device that detects if someone is at the vending machine and lights it only when someone is there. 

“The best way to build your energy efficient portfolio is to find out where you are,” Parsons said. “Our reports dive deep into each building and, in the case of the jail, can tell you what your energy costs are per square foot or inmate. In examining all the buildings, we can tell you what buildings are doing well and which ones are energy hogs.” 

According to county Expense Verification Reports, last month Carter County spent 11,980.66 on the county’s buildings that reside in Ardmore, such as the courthouse and all its annexes. Carter County also paid  $2,401.85 for electric service to the Noble Energy building last month, and $2,700 for electricity at the Carter County Health Department, according to the report. 

All three commissioners thought the program seemed like something the county would be interested in doing. Commissioners said they wanted to meet with Parsons at a later date to discuss their options moving forward, and hopefully secure some incentive money.  

“If we’re going to be updating and replacing these things anyway, we want to do it the smart way that will help us save money,” said Jerry Alvord, Carter County commissioner for district three. 

In other motions, the commissioners approved the declaration of a bucket truck from district one surplus. However, the county isn’t getting rid of the truck. 

“I’m selling the truck to district two because they use it more than we do,” district one commissioner Joe David McReynolds said. “Of course it’s on the condition that I get to use it whenever I want.”