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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

For Immediate Release
September 16, 2009

Comptroller Helps Cleburne Achieve Energy Savings

(AUSTIN) — The city of Cleburne will soon start saving an estimated $515,072 annually in energy and water costs while improving the environment at the same time. The city will begin installing energy and water efficient equipment throughout its facilities using a $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 Cleburne’s city hall, fire stations, administration building, library, police station, municipal airport, municipal court, park offices, sports complex, wastewater and water treatment plant, animal shelter and recreation center. Energy-efficient retrofit projects include installing high energy-efficient lighting; water conservation measures, such as high performance faucets, shower heads and toilets that will save more than 560,000 gallons of water per year; customer water meter replacements and automatic meter reading systems; and wastewater process efficiency improvements.

The Comptroller’s office estimates Cleburne’s energy retrofits will pay for themselves from the projected annual energy savings of $515,072, paying off the LoanSTAR loan in less than 10 years.

“This comes at no new cost to the city of Cleburne,” 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 energy 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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