Media Release

Earth Day Countdown - Conservation Efforts

Tuesday, April 6, 2010 4:45 PM

16 Days until Earth Day.

Driven by the County Commission's Guiding Vision, everyday is Earth Day in Alachua County.  In April, each day leading up to Earth Day (April 22), the County will be highlighting programs, services, and strategies designed to lead Alachua County into a more sustainable future.

To view all "Earth Day Countdown" press releases on the County's Facebook page, click here and click on the Earth Day tab at the top of the page.

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - Energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction is a very important concern of the Alachua County Commission. The Alachua County Department of Administrative Services' Facilities Management Division has made great progress with these concerns.

A new energy management tool "Utility Manager" will soon be in use. This online, utility bill database tool will allow the County to measure and analyze energy usage in all County Buildings.

According to Facilities Manager, Charlie Jackson, "You can't manage what you don't measure and Utility Manager gives us an organization wide insight into our total energy expenditures."

Other recent projects are contributing to the County's goal of a 30 percent utility bill reduction by the end of 2010.  

Projects include:

  • Enhancements to the Alachua County Jail's plumbing, air conditioning, and roof top insulation will result in major, long-term savings in both energy usage and water consumption
  • Overall, lighting upgrades to County facilities, which have saved over 11 percent in utility costs

In February, the County Commission approved a "Utility Savings and Reinvestment" account into which savings from specific conservation and efficiency projects will be deposited. These funds will be reinvested in conservation enhancements to County run facilities through each year's capital improvement program.  One of the first deposits to this account was over $76,000 in Gainesville Regional Utilities rebate checks received by the County for recent energy efficiency efforts.

"These efforts will have a significant impact on Alachua County's carbon footprint in the future." commented Environmental Protection Department Director, Chris Bird, "The Utility Manager program will provide invaluable information that enables us to monitor data and trends associated with CO2 emissions. This will help us meet our climate change commitments to report, monitor and reduce carbon dioxide."

For more information, contact Alachua County Sustainability Manager, Sean McLendon at 352-548-3765.

40 Days of Change - For more information concerning events on and leading up to Earth Day, go to the University of Florida, Office of Sustainability's "40 Days of Change" website by clicking here.



If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).