New water meters, energy-efficiency upgrades in village

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

Work will begin this week on the village’s energy efficiency infrastructure project with the installation of more energy efficient lighting in village-owned buildings and its 50 historic street lights.

It’s the beginning of a $1.5 million project which will see the replacement of all 1,388 village water meters (residential and commercial), as well as the installation of more energy efficient windows, weather-stripping and boilers in municipal buildings. The village is contracting with Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls, which did the energy audit and is providing the new equipment.

Trustees also voted on May 19 to issue $1.7 million in short-term five-year bond anticipation notes (BAN) to cover the cost of the work and any added costs that might pop up during the project, which will take several months to complete.


At the end of the five years, trustees can look to refinance the BANs debt or decide to issue longer-term bonds. They expect it to take 20 years to pay off the project.

Village officials say the project will be “revenue neutral” from the village budget point of view because of energy savings, water-saving leak detection and greater revenue from water users thanks to the more sensitive meters.

As part of an energy audit conducted by Johnson, the company found that of the water meters now being used, only 92 percent were accurate. The new meters will be 98 percent accurate.

Officials estimate the new, more accurate meters will bring in $14,000 per year in additional revenue.

Mayor William Murphy explained that each new water meter will also have a leak detector to help the water department track down any leak should one occur. “This will result in less water wastage and save money,” he said.

The installation of the new meters will begin in the middle of September and be completed in November, said Mike Hopf, village water department superintendent.

These are the same type of lead-free, information-transmitting water meters that created a stir in the town of Saugerties last year when a number of residents questioned their safety. The technology is similar to mobile phones and wireless Internet. The town still has hundreds left to install.

Next will be the installation of new windows before the onset of winter. Then the boilers. Johnson Controls estimates the village will realize about $38,000 or a 27.5 percent energy savings each year from this portion of the project.

Murphy called the project “a win-win” for the taxpayers.

“The idea is that the project will pay for itself and will reduce our carbon footprint,” he said.