Gov. Tom Wolf Friday announced the Department of Corrections has implemented a new energy savings pilot program that will reduce utility costs at State Correctional Institution Dallas in Luzerne County by more than $1.7 million over five years.
This initiative is part of the Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Modernization and Efficiency (GO-TIME).
“Department of Corrections has been a leader in working to reduce costs and improve outcomes at the same time,” Gov. Wolf said. “We are working to mitigate any and all costs in order to allow for more funding to go towards programs that help improve public safety and generate better outcomes.”
The Guaranteed Energy Savings Act (GESA) provides an innovative financing technique that uses cost savings from reduced energy consumption to repay the cost of installing energy conservation measures.
The DOC expects significant utility savings from a reduction in facility water and electrical usage. The project also includes other energy conservation measures that will result in energy savings.
The savings for the 5-year period beginning in October and ending in June FY 2020/21 is expected to be $1,725,000.
“We are always looking for ways to reduce prison costs,” said Corrections Secretary John Wetzel. “The GESA project affords us the opportunity to not only save money but reduce energy usage as well.”
The project plan involved replacing existing interior and exterior lighting with new light emitting diode (LED) lighting to improve the quality of lighting as well as reduce its energy costs and enhance security. The LED power supplies have a 100-year life expectancy that will significantly reduce maintenance costs, allowing electricians to fulfill other maintenance needs throughout the institution.The DOC is exploring expanding the program to other state correctional institutions based on the success of the program at SCI Dallas.