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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

For Immediate Release
June 30, 2008

Comptroller Helps Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Achieve Energy Savings

(AUSTIN) — The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) will soon start saving an estimated $260,000 annually in energy costs while improving the environment at the same time. The airport will begin to install energy-efficient equipment throughout its facilities using a $1.5 million loan from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Funding for this project comes from the LoanSTAR (Saving Taxes and Resources) Revolving Loan Program, administered by the State Energy Conservation Office, a division of the Comptroller’s office.

“The state wants to help Texas schools and local governments save valuable taxpayer dollars by using energy efficiently and reducing utility costs,” said Texas Comptroller Susan Combs. “The LoanSTAR Revolving Loan Program is an excellent way to help them obtain resources to realize those savings.”

A detailed utility assessment report recommended several energy-efficient projects within the terminal, central plant and the planning, engineering, operations, communications and parking operation buildings. Energy-efficient retrofit projects include boiler plant and energy management system upgrades, installing lighting controls, chiller replacement and water conservation projects.  

The Comptroller’s office estimates ABIA’s energy retrofits will pay for themselves from the projected annual energy savings of $260,000, paying off the LoanSTAR loan over a 10-year period.

“This comes at no new cost to the city of Austin,” Combs said. “After the loan is paid off, the city will continue to reap the benefits of saved energy costs by reallocating money for other needs as necessary.”

Projects funded through LoanSTAR have a significant environmental impact, reducing the release of pollutants from power plants as they burn less fuel to serve the public facilities, which become more energy efficient.

The LoanSTAR Revolving Loan Program is the largest state-run building conservation program in the United States and has saved public entities in Texas more than $200 million since 1990. Texas schools, cities and counties undergo a process of strict quality control and must meet rigorous guidelines to participate in the program. For more information on LoanSTAR, visit www.seco.cpa.state.tx.us/ls.htm.

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Find details on all the services of the Comptroller’s office at www.window.state.tx.us, including a transparent look at state spending at www.window.state.tx.us/wherethemoneygoes.

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