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Energy grant will cover less than third of city’s $630,000 energy-savings projects

The good news is that the city of Sunnyside this week garnered a $170,301 state grant to reduce energy costs.

The not-so-good news is Sunnyside will still have to take out $460,000 or so in loan proceeds to pay for the upgrades to replace light fixtures at city hall and blowers at the wastewater plant.

Jamey Ayling is the city’s planner, and he says energy savings from the projects will cover loan payments. After the loan is satisfied, Ayling said the city will then be able to fully apply the cost savings.

The $170,301 grant is from the Washington State Department of Commerce, and Ayling says the overall project will cost about $630,000.

The 2013 Legislature appropriated $25 million for energy efficiency and solar grants to higher education, local governments and state agencies.

Ayling says changing out the old fluorescent light fixtures at city hall will save money. But he says replacing the treatment plant’s blowers will especially help the upgrade pay for itself in the short run and save Sunnyside money in the long run.

“Those things are major energy consumers,” Ayling said of the blowers.

He notes additional savings for the city will include cost incentives by Pacific Power as Sunnyside becomes more energy efficient.

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