Monday, May 13, 2013

Dianda introduces resolution aimed at reducing emissions from correctional facilities

LANSING -- State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) introduced House Resolution 136 today that will urge the governor and Department of Corrections to convert heating plants at the state's correctional facilities to combined heat and power plants.

"Correctional facilities are some of the biggest consumers of energy in our state. Combining heat and power plants at our prisons will save millions and millions of taxpayer dollars. That's the smart way to save money -- unlike the governor's idea of privatizing prison food service," said Dianda, referring to Michigan Department of Corrections Officials' recent decision to contract prison food services to a private corporation.

In 2012, corrections facilities consumed nearly 172 million kilowatt-hours of electricity at a cost of almost $15 million. Nine of the facilities in the corrections system operate heating plants on-site to meet the heating and cooling needs of multiple buildings. The nine facilities with on-site heating plants collectively account for nearly 50 percent of the department's annual electricity use, which presents an opportunity for substantial savings from more efficient delivery of utilities. The combination of existing heating capacity and electricity demand make these facilities ideal candidates for new cogeneration projects.

"This is a win-win situation. We are able to demonstrate leadership and a sense of urgency in managing taxpayer investments in our state, and we are meeting the demand for implementing energy saving initiatives," continued Dianda.

The resolution gives an example of a facility that provides electricity, heat and air conditioning "through a cogeneration system fired by natural gas, a cleaner burning fuel."

Click here to read the resolution as presented.

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