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Here's how Portage will cut energy use at its public buildings

A closeup of a sign reading "Portage City Hall" in blue letters, with blue trim
WMUK

The City of Portage is poised to make its facilities more energy-efficient. Council members voted Tuesday to approve a roughly $1 million plan developed with energy consultant NORESCO.

The biggest cuts in electricity use will come from installing LED lights in city buildings, upgrading the thermostat at city hall and replacing old HVAC equipment at the Portage Public Safety Complex.

Acting City Manager Adam Herringa says Portage is making good on a promise to fight climate change, after passing a resolution last winter acknowledging the global climate crisis.

“It’s also just being good stewards as well. If there’s an opportunity for cost savings, while at the same time promoting environmental sustainability we need to make sure take advantage of those opportunities,” Herringa said.

He added that the lighting changes alone will save Portage about $35,000 in the first year.

“I think we’re all surprised by the amount of savings, simply by switching out light bulbs that the city would realize,” Herringa said.

Portage hopes to finish the upgrades by the end of the spring.

Sehvilla Mann joined WMUK’s news team in January 2014 as a reporter on the local government and education beats. Before that she covered a variety of topics, including environmental issues, for Bloomington, Indiana NPR and PBS affiliates WFIU and WTIU. She’s also written and produced stories for the Pacifica Network and WYSO Public Radio in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Sehvilla holds a B.A. in French from Earlham College and an M.A. in journalism from Indiana University.
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