Eagle takes big step toward goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 | VailDaily.com

Eagle takes big step toward goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030

Eagle Town Council approves funding for audit to pursue clean energy swaps

The town of Eagle took its first big step in working toward its goal to have net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 in a Town Council decision made Tuesday night.

Town Council members voted to unanimously approve an agreement to have an energy services company based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, produce a comprehensive “investment grade audit” for the town.

The audit will be used to “identify utility cost-savings measures and facility improvement measures, including operation and maintenance cost savings and vehicle fleet operational or fuel cost savings,” according to a presentation by the company, Yearout Energy Services Company, LLC.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, these kinds of audits are used to “identify, evaluate, and present a recommended package of (clean energy swaps) with associated efficiency savings and projected costs.”

The audit will “determine the feasibility of a future energy performance contract with Yearout Energy Services” – the next step in implementing changes recommended during the audit, according to a report prepared by town staff.

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Tuesday’s approval represents an investment of $49,500 in town funds budgeted toward Eagle’s sustainability plan, but the town may end up using a grant to cover the expense.

This represents the largest climate action investment made since the town’s net-zero by 2030 goal was passed by the Town Council in July.

“I think this is really our first meaningful step towards our net-zero goal,” Turnipseed said after the vote Tuesday. “So, it’s great that we set that goal last year and we’re starting to make some steps towards achieving it.”

The resolution approved Tuesday also endorses the larger proposal to engage in an energy performance contract with Yearout Energy after the audit is completed.

The overall proposal may include the installation of “a large solar array” at the town’s wastewater treatment plant as well as “upgrades to more energy efficient equipment in the wastewater treatment plant, and eventual replacement of all water meters with those that more accurately measure water usage,” according to the staff report.

“It would also specify operations and maintenance, vehicle fleet and fuel cost saving strategies,“ the report states.

These kinds of audits are designed to provide entities with “more detail on existing consumption levels, operating hours, and utility costs than a traditional energy analysis,” according to the Oregon Department of Energy.

The audit “establishes and defines consumption and cost baselines for all operating costs savings,” a department report on investment grade audits reads. They can also be used to “(justify) the economic feasibility of the project to secure financing,” as is the case with the town of Eagle.

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