Hattiesburg signs contract to save energy costs

Hattiesburg signs contract to save energy costs

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The city of Hattiesburg signed a $7.2 million energy saving contract with Johnson Controls, Inc. to help cut energy costs.

"What we're doing is working to help create energy savings and energy conservation to invest in the infrastructure and  services in the City of Hattiesburg," said Lisa A. Brown, national director for municipal efficiency for Johnson Controls.

Johnson Controls is working with the city to use more solar and renewable energy, find leaks in water systems, repair and update central heating and air conditioning units and improve lighting. The city borrowed money through an energy performance bond, but Johnson Controls will make payments.

"We get $7.5 million in construction upgrades, energy construction upgrades, without necessarily having to make the payment," Mayor Johnny DuPree said. "There's a guaranteed savings of $10.5 over a 15 year period."

Brown said the project costs taxpayers nothing and saves them money in the long run.

"You save taxes by not going out and increasing taxes by doing it through an energy performance bond, and so the residents do feel the overall result," she said.

DuPree said, "Upgrades at our facilities, doing those kinds of things that we really need to be doing, but it's one of those things that you would like to do, but you can't really afford it. This makes it affordable."