This year Earth Day lands on April 22nd and to celebrate that, Trustee Austin Knox is announcing a new, comprehensive energy project that will save money for our taxpayers while also helping to clean up the environment.
Wayne Township has partnered with Indiana-based building optimization company, Veregy, who is installing 221 panels of an 89.5 kWh roof-mounted solar system atop the Wayne Township Trustee’s office building.
Along with upgrades to our lighting system and the installation of nine (9) automated energy-efficient thermostat systems that will cut back temperatures when the building is unoccupied, these changes will save over 109,000 kWh of energy each year; equivalent to the power required to annually run 14 houses or to charge over 9 million smart phones. At the same time, they will offset the emissions produced by passenger cars traveling over 194,000 miles.
Trustee Knox explains that “Indiana ranks in the top ten of all 50 states for most carbon emissions per capita, and most of those emissions come from the electric power sector. This project will reduce our office’s contribution to that waste, and it will save all Wayne Township residents money. Thanks to good financial stewardship and our board’s approval this project can be done without asking for any additional funding from the taxpayers. And the savings generated will be utilized for our core mission: assisting citizens in need. We hope this project will serve as an example to other units of government of what can be gained by optimizing a building’s energy usage.”
As the project proceeds, Wayne Township and Veregy will be implementing a first-of-its kind solar installation internship program for minority community members. Two minority students learning about electricity have already been selected to participate, and plans are in the works to partner with community training programs, creating another educational pathway for Wayne Township students.
Austin Knox continues, “Providing firsthand work experience, in a growing field that lacks minority representation, is something I am passionate about, and we want to be a model for how to train, deploy, and include everyone in transformative projects led by governmental units. With this cutting-edge technology we are providing hands-on experience to minority students, saving money and making Wayne Township a leader in combating global warming. This is very exciting.”
Work on the building has already started and should be finished by the end of June 2022. Shortly after completion, Wayne Township will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony to which the public will be invited.
On another note, we give a shoutout to Shirley Stevenson, our April Employee Spotlight winner. Shirley has been in the Human Resources department here at the trustee’s office for the last 15 years and has this to say about her time here: “I am so thankful that I am not one of those people who hate to come to work. I’ve had other jobs that let me use my particular talents and love of people, but I especially enjoy working here. I’m always impressed by how much we all care for and respect one another. In spite of our varying personalities, we can always come together and make great things happen.”