Commission considers ABM Energy Savings proposal


BUCKHANNON — Mike Hess with ABM Corporation presented to Commissioners last Thursday morning on how the company can potentially save Upshur County money.

Hess explained that ABM is based out of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania and that they work with various counties throughout New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Their main focus is to partner with counties in reallocating, preserving and generating resources. “We will create a solution that really meets your needs,” he assured.

ABM operates through West Virginia’s Guaranteed Energy Savings Act legislation. He noted that by law, West Virginia allows an accredited company to come and look at all aspects of operation, such as energy and assets. Then, the company proposes a savings plan that Hess said they have to prove an annual basis.

Hess explained that the unique thing about this legislation is that it is not just proving annual savings, but by law, it’s a firm, fixed price guaranteed not to change. For instance, ABM may be able to save $100,000 a year and they’re required to prove that up to 15 years. However, if by year 6 they only save the county $80,000, then by law, they have to cut a check for that $20,000. “We are assuming the risk, because if our costs are off, good or bad, it is against us, not you guys,” Hess noted.

Hess also explained the capital analysis that their developers and engineers use. Part of the process, in addition to collecting utility information and running math on that, is that AMB reportedly has to have one of their developers do a full walk through of all buildings and create an analysis to get an idea of what the county has and be able to identify the feature variable costs. Hess emphasized the county would not be obligated to replace this or replace that. “The first few stages is just us saying this is what we found and more or less giving you our feedback,” he explained.

Commissioner Sam Nolte expressed, “We would like to talk about it a little bit more. A lot of things you all have mentioned, we have done or are on our to do list. We will take a look at it and see. We don’t want to waste your time or our resources.” Commission President Kristie Tenney noted, “We are blessed to do a lot of projects in house.”

Hess concluded that it is a partnership that has to make sense for both organizations. “It has be good for you guys, too,” he added. Commissioners did not make a decision but will further consider ABM’s proposal.

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