Newtown officials are considering a contract with an energy services company, or ESCO, that will enable the town to get millions of dollars of energy efficiency improvements to town buildings at little or no cost.
Public Works Director Fred Hurley said the company, Amaresco, headquartered in Framingham, Mass., would arrange for private financing that would eliminate the need for the town to borrow on the bond market.
That means the entire project would be paid for through the town’s operating budget rather than through the capital budget, he said.
Hurley told the Public Buildings and Site Commission Tuesday that the cost to the town would be offset by the savings from lower energy bills over the 20-year contract.
He said if the town doesn’t save as much money as projected by Amaresco’s energy audit, the company would have to pay the difference.
The project might also benefit from low-interest loans from the state and from energy credits from Northeast Utilities.
The work could include replacing boilers and HVAC systems, installation of solar panels and wind energy generators, replacing old windows and adding insulation.
Hurley said there would be a presentation of the plan to the Legislative Council on Aug. 1, along with a request for a $50,000 appropriation for the energy audit.
The audit would establish the baseline, which would be used to determine the extent of energy savings from the project, and also determine what kind of energy efficiency work would be done and to which town buildings.