ALPENA (WWJ) — Framingham, Mass.-based Ameresco Inc., (NYSE:AMRC), an energy efficiency and renewable energy company, announced today that it has begun work on a $1.6 million Energy Savings Performance Contract with Alpena County in northeastern Lower Michigan.

Expected to be completed by the end of the year, it is projected that the ESPC will save the county more than $100,000 in annual energy and operational savings through numerous energy efficiency and critical infrastructure improvements throughout county-owned buildings and facilities.

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“Our partnership with Ameresco will enable us to improve the energy efficiency of our buildings and repay the investment with the guaranteed savings provided through the energy savings performance contract,” said Lyle VanWormer, who chairs the finance committee of the Alpena County Commission. “Faced with a strained annual budget, this was the perfect solution. The ESPC model allows us to bond the project, complete the necessary infrastructures upgrades and avoid future capital costs.”

Prior to beginning work on the ESPC, Ameresco performed a full investment grade audit to identify areas where energy savings measures could be implemented throughout the county’s buildings and facilities.

The wide-ranging ESPC will involve the implementation of several energy conservation measures in multiple buildings including Northern Lights Arena, jail, courthouse, pool, County fairgrounds, airport, annex and Michigan Department of Correction offices. The upgrades across County buildings will include new lighting, building envelope and weatherization improvements, water conservation measures, HVAC building automation expansions and mechanical improvements.

“We are proud to partner with Alpena County to support their efforts to improve their infrastructure and become more energy efficient,” said Louis P. Maltezos, executive vice president of Ameresco. “The ESPC model is a very effective tool for county and municipal governments to upgrade aging equipment and avoid equipment failure without asking taxpayers for additional funding. All the upgrades for this project with Alpena County will be paid through energy, operational and maintenance savings, and we have engaged local labor and subcontractors whenever possible to help support the local economy.”

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The ESPC project will streamline all control of county equipment into one open, non-proprietary system with web-access and remote alerts. Ameresco will also replace the old boiler and mechanical equipment at the county’s pool with a high efficiency boiler to improve comfort and operating costs. In addition, Ameresco will install a low emissivity ceiling over the Northern Lights Arena’s ice surface that will reflect heat and save energy. In an effort to reduce the Arena’s high demand charge for electricity, the County will close the facility this summer as a short-term solution until the new energy efficiency improvements are complete.

Once complete, these measures will improve performance, control and comfort at county buildings as well as reduce maintenance and operating costs. In addition to expected savings on energy and operating costs, greenhouse gas emissions are expected to be reduced by 601 metric tons, which is the equivalent of taking 125 cars off the road or avoiding consumption of nearly 1,400 barrels of oil.

This contract builds on Ameresco’s work throughout Michigan where the company has completed ESPC projects with Montcalm Community College and with Ovid-Elsie Area Schools, both in central Michigan. Ameresco has a long history of partnering with counties, schools, and municipalities to improve energy infrastructure and install renewable energy technologies. Their pioneering of the ESPC financing model has made the budget-neutral solution an increasingly popular option for customers in Michigan and across North America. It enables budget-neutral energy efficiency upgrades by guaranteeing a minimum level of energy savings over the term of the contract. Ameresco coordinates the upfront project costs and the County repays that investment with their energy savings over time.

Alpena County has a population of 29,396 spread over 1,695 square miles. It was incorporated in 1940 as Anomickee County.

Founded in 2000, Ameresco is an independent provider of comprehensive services, energy efficiency, infrastructure upgrades, asset sustainability and renewable energy solutions for buildings throughout North America. Ameresco’s services include upgrades to a building’s energy infrastructure and the development, construction and operation of renewable energy plants. Ameresco has successfully completed energy saving, environmentally responsible projects with federal, state and local governments, healthcare and educational institutions, housing authorities, and commercial and industrial customers.

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Ameresco provides local expertise through its 66 offices in 34 states and five Canadian provinces. Ameresco has more than 900 employees. For more information, visit