Sustainability

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2016-04-11-Solar-Panels-on-City-Hall-smCity Buildings & Facilities

The City of Tumwater invested nearly $2 million in upgrades to City buildings and facilities to improve energy efficiency, save operational costs, and invest in clean energy. Now, City facilities have some very GREEN improvements. These upgrades were funded through a number of measures, including a grant from the Department of Commerce, Capital Facility Funds, and combination of reserve funds and financing through the energy savings achieved through the improvements. The City now saves energy from:

  • Heating and cooling equipment (HVAC) with variable speed drives
  • Special sensors and dampers regulate and control the use of outside air for air quality and temperature control
  • Digital controls allow different zones to operate depending on actual occupant needs, such as shutting down the front office during the night and optimal sizing of equipment and high efficiency equipment
  • Automatic lighting which responds to occupancy and user needs and natural light in areas where it is operationally appropriate
  • Low-flow water conservation fixtures
  • LED lighting for exits and the parking lot.
  • Low VOC paint and carpet materials in building improvements
  • Kept mature trees on City Hall campus 
  • Pervious pavement in the new Police parking lot.
  • Heat pumps and improve lighting at the library
  • Boiler and upgrade other heating/cooling systems at Old Town Center
  • Furnace at the North End Fire Station and make improvements to ventilation and lighting
  • HVAC controls, ventilation, and hot water system in the Headquarters Fire Station
  • HVAC and ducting system at the golf course and converted parking lot lighting to LED

City Fleet

  • In 2014, the City added two electric vehicles to its fleet
  • The newest fire engine is equipped with many emissions features for safer and cleaner operation, including LED lights, clean diesel filtration, and idle reduction technology  

Solar Panels on City Hall

A $20,000 grant previously awarded to Tumwater from PSE's multi-city green power challenge in 2013 helped leverage an additional $219,044 solar grant from the state grant program. Both solar grants were used to install a 20 kW photovoltaic (pv) solar array on the City Hall campus. The energy generated helps to offset the City's electricity bill and serve as a demonstration project for the community. 

LED streetlight replacement project LED 3

The City of Tumwater installed high efficiency light emitting diode (LED) streetlights. This was part of an energy savings project to replace 80% of the City's existing High Pressure Sodium streetlights. The high efficiency LED system saves electricity and reduces maintenance while providing significantly better light quality and has the added advantage of eliminating mercury waste disposal.The project was funded by a $220,000 Department of Commerce grant, $158,000 in utility incentives, and $506,000 from the City Transportation Capital Facility funds. The remaining 20% of street lights will be upgraded to LEDs in the next few years.

LED Traffic Signal Conversion Complete

The City completed the conversion of the last of the City’s 29 traffic signals to LED lamps in 2015. The conversion to LED lamps for the traffic signals began in 2005, and since 2008, the City has upgraded multiple signals each year. Not only are the LED lights more efficient using less electricity, the extended life and improved reliability of the lights reduces maintenance costs.

Sustainable Thurston

Sustainable Thurston was a community conversation that resulted in a planned vision for a vibrant, healthy, and resilient future, as well as the actions and responsibilities to achieve it. The project was a multi-year effort with unprecedented community outreach and engagement. Funding was provided by a federal HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities grant. The Plan, Creating Places - Preserving Spaces: A Sustainable Development Plan for the Thurston Region, is the result of a two-and-a-half-year community conversation and analysis of quality-of-life issues. This Plan charts a more sustainable future for the Thurston Region. The City of Tumwater joined 28 partners (jurisdictions, agencies, organizations, community groups) in a Memorandum of Understanding, agreeing to be actively involved in the process, development and implementation of plans.

Preferred Sustainability Status has been awarded to the Thurston County Region by HUD because our region is engaged in a sustainability planning process. Visit the Sustainable Thurston website for more information.

Learn more...

Climate Change - Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Energy Conservation Reports