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Trump now wants Putin to visit the White House this fall; Also on the Friday rundown: health insurance rates to rise by almost 9 percent in California; and as the climate crises reaches “Zero Hour” young people take a stand.

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City of Morgantown Saving Money and Cutting Carbon

August 28, 2009

CHARLESTON, W. Va. - Even in a state where electricity is relatively cheap, local governments can save money and reduce their carbon footprints by conserving energy - and local officials in Morgantown say they're proving it. The municipal government is in the middle of a long-term effort to reduce energy use by 20 percent and save money in the process. Morgantown City Manager Dan Boroff lists a number of changes to be made in the next eight months, that are expected to pay off for years.

"A new air conditioning system at the airport; a new chiller system at ice rink; new lighting throughout the parking garages, even down to the stop lights in the city, replacing them with LED systems."

All that, plus new boilers and insulation for city buildings are on the ambitious agenda. It is a $2.7 million investment, not including hybrid or fuel-efficient replacements for the city fleet as old vehicles are retired. Boroff says Morgantown is guaranteed to make its money back over 15 years - or the contractors have to pay back the difference.
According to Mayor Bill Byrne, theirs was a hardheaded business decision that also had environmental advantages.

"We had an opportunity to both save money and improve the quantity of carbon that we put into the environment. We're doing it for economic reasons, and also, because it's positive for the environment."

A study released this summer found nationwide, homes and businesses could reduce energy use by nearly one-fourth though steps like upgrading appliances and sealing leaky air conditioning and heating ducts. The study found returns would double the investment in 11 years.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - WV