Hanover government offices make 'green' energy changes

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - Saving green while going green. Hanover County has made some recent changes to help cut down on electricity costs.

At the administration building at Hanover County, you'll find stickers in most offices reminding employees to turn off the light. It's just one of the things happening to help save the environment and money.

"It's such a little thing, but it's a powerful message to send," said David Butler, director of facilities management for Hanover County.

When old light bulbs burn out in Hanover County they are being replaced with newer, more efficient options like compact florescent bulbs or even led lights.

The idea is to save the county thousands of dollars in the coming years while educating employees and residents at the same time.

"It's not just about replacing a lamp and having that done," Butler said. "It's about letting our employers know that they have to power to help reduce electrical costs here in the county."

A study shows changing the lighting in just one office is saving about $100 dollars a year. A small number, but not when you think about how many offices are in this building.

On a larger scale, more efficient lighting in the Atlee Library will save $3,500 a year. It costs $7,000, but will pay for itself in two years and be total savings after that.

"It's a long process, it's not a overnight process, and I think here in Hanover we are on the edge of doing the right things that can be done with the monies that are available," Butler said.

Certain offices also have sensors to help cut electric costs.

"As soon as you leave the office for about 5 minutes, it's going to shut the lighting off, and you do this in conference rooms and things like that," he said.

The calculated savings for that is more than 20 percent. And the electricity costs are just one part of a larger effort to protect the earth. Recycling efforts are underway and janitors are using green cleaning supplies.

"If we lead by example, we'll get the results that we want," Butler said.

In the grand scheme of things, Hanover County leaders want to get federal energy grants to completely overhaul the lighting system. In the meantime, they'll do their part, one light bulb at a time.

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