The City of Norwalk & Board of Education are joining forces to save energy.
Mayor Harry Rilling said, "We feel that we need to be better inhabitants of our planet. We need to do everything we can to save money using energy efficiencies, to find ways of using alternative energy and also to find ways that we might better live in our community and reduce our carbon footprint."
Councilman John Kydes will chair the task force. He said, "We just want to be the go-to resource for the Board of Education and Norwalk; to be able to provide the cheapest possible way to get energy efficient."
The Mayor's Energy & Environment Task Force will work to identify programs that could save money for the City, as well as evaluating building projects for renewable and clean energy opportunities.
Superintendent of School Dr. Manuel Rivera said, "We have some contracts that will be expiring and so we're excited right off the bat and beginning to explore the potential of bulk purchasing of electricity and natural gas. A second area is in the area of smarter lighting, using LED lighting that can save 10-15% of energy cost."
"The City of Norwalk has seized upon grants in the past such as the electric car re-charging stations. We want to have a more comprehensive view because there are many many grants and financing mechanisms that we have not taken advantage of," said Diane Lauricella, member of the task force.
Councilman Kydes added, "We're not going to go out and change every light in every school or every Norwalk facility but when the project comes up, we're going to be there to make sure we get the best, up-to-date, least expensive deal on the market."
Dr. Manuel Rivera said the formation of the task force will have another positive effect on students.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for a learning experience for our students and staff. There are energy programs where students can get directly involved and take ownership for the school buildings and the environments that they are in not only at school but at home. We think that kind of learning experience that they are going to have from this are going to extend and ripple across the community."