Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) and Honeywell (NYSE:HON) today announced plans to implement an aggressive energy conservation program that will help the housing authority cut utility costs, improve its facilities and reduce its impact on the environment. The program will feature renewable energy and green building technologies, combined with a variety of traditional infrastructure upgrades.
“Most of our properties are more than 40 years old, with the original heating and cooling equipment still in place. So there is definitely room for efficiency improvements,” said Cora McCorvey, executive director, MPHA. “However, we want to make changes in an environmentally and economically responsible way. We hope to set an example for housing providers throughout the nation with this program.”
Honeywell will kick the program off with an audit of all the MPHA facilities. This includes hi-rise apartments, single-family homes and offices — almost 800 buildings in total. The company will then recommend specific energy conservation measures, and work with MPHA to develop and implement a final list of projects. The energy savings that result from the improvements, which are guaranteed by Honeywell, will pay for the work. As a result, the program should not add to the housing authority’s budget or require additional taxpayer dollars.
Honeywell helps customers reduce energy consumption — and decrease associated greenhouse gas emissions — by more than 15 percent on average through this type of program.
“We’re focused on building a more ecologically sustainable city,” said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. “And the efforts from MPHA and Honeywell are an important step in meeting the city’s renewable energy and carbon dioxide reduction goals. The end result will be an even better, healthier place to live and work.”
The program is expected to have a significant emphasis on renewable energy. Honeywell and MPHA will examine technologies like biomass gasification to provide a sustainable energy source for heating facilities. The organizations also will incorporate green facility improvements into the mix. For example, the high-rise apartment buildings may be good candidates for “green roof” systems that lower the surface temperature of a roof by covering it with organic plant material, significantly reducing water runoff and cooling costs.
Standard infrastructure improvements, such as upgrading heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, sealing buildings to reduce the loss of hot and cool air, and installing new lighting fixtures, will be part of the program as well.
“Based on a recent assessment, we have identified in excess of $200 million in needed facility improvements,” said Emilio Bettaglio, director of facilities and development, MPHA. “This program will make a sizeable dent in that need and, because it is funded through energy savings, it will allow us to focus available capital on other projects.”
MPHA, the largest housing provider in Minnesota, selected Honeywell from four energy services companies based on its ambitious preliminary scope of work and renewable energy expertise. As a result of the improvements, MPHA hopes to achieve Energy Star accreditation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy. It would be one of the first in the public housing industry to receive this accreditation.
In addition, Honeywell plans to involve MPHA residents in the program, soliciting their input on needed improvements, educating them on energy conservation practices and creating employment opportunities during the construction phase.
Honeywell expects to finish the audit and begin the upgrades in 2008.
“By combining energy-efficient upgrades and renewable energy sources, we can help MPHA address several long-term needs and reduce its environmental footprint — without increasing operating budgets,” said Joe Puishys, president of Honeywell Building Solutions. “This benefits not only the housing authority and its residents, but makes an impact on the community as a whole.”
Honeywell International is a $33 billion diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and specialty materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell's shares are traded on the New York, London and Chicago Stock Exchanges. It is one of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is also a component of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. For additional information, please visit www.honeywell.com. Honeywell Building Solutions is part of the Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions business group, a global leader in providing product and service solutions that improve efficiency and profitability, support regulatory compliance, and maintain safe, comfortable environments in homes, buildings and industry. For more information about Building Solutions, access www.honeywell.com/buildingsolutions.
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