Glenville switches energy providers

In an attempt to deal with rising energy costs, the town of Glenville has entered into a three-year contract with Reliant Energy, a Texas-based company that is promising to save taxpayers an estimated $100,000 annually, according to Town Administrator Tony Germano.

Germano said the switch to Reliant from Integrys Energy of New York will save taxpayers about 2.5 cents per kilowatt. He said last year the town spent more than $500,000 in energy, including utility costs and the cost to run the town's electric water pumps. Part of the contract with Reliant includes an energy audit of the town, which Councilmember Chris Koetzle said can shed some light on other areas where the town may be able to save money.

Koetzle, who was an active part of making the contract possible, said the water pumps are the No. 1 energy drain, and town officials are looking forward to seeing how they can better manage the system's electricity use.

Saving energy is a multiple-part process, it's not just about switching to a company who can save us dollars right off the bat. We need to look into every avenue, including the energy audit, said Koetzle.

The town will work with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to complete the audit. This program will provide energy audits to Glenville to help them make informed electrical energy decisions and implement energy-efficiency strategies. The audit will also help them identify economically viable improvements that yield substantial annual energy savings.

Koetzle said they are also looking at reduced interest rates through the New York Energy Smart Loan Program, as well as NYSERDA programs.

Reliant Energy serves approximately 1.8 million customers. Germano said the town looked into 12- and 14-month contracts but decided the three-year contract gives the town the best deal financially. The company was one of the first to use wind power, something that is more visible in part of central and northern New York.

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