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News Release

April 14, 2011      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(845) 486-2000

Nearly $300,000 in Energy Savings for County Government and DCC

Poughkeepsie... Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus has announced Dutchess County Government and Dutchess Community College will collectively save nearly $300,000 on utility costs as a result of a recently signed contract agreement with Hess energy company.

County Executive Steinhaus stated, “Dutchess County Government and Dutchess Community College (DCC) partnered together to issue a recent Request for Proposals (RFP) to see if additional electricity savings could be achieved by “locking in” to a fixed kilowatt hour (kWh)price.   Together, the County and DCC were able to lock in prices of $0.0643, $0.0666, and $0.0692 per kWh respectively for the next three years beginning May 1, 2011.    First year electric energy savings will total more than $187,000 for the County and nearly $100,000 for DCC as compared to electricity prices paid last year.”

Dutchess County Government and Dutchess Community College are among the largest utility customers in Dutchess County, with a combined total annual usage of nearly 20 million kilowatt hours.

“This new electric energy supply contract saves our county property taxpayers money.   It is another example of our long term and continuing efforts to scrutinize every expense and find new ways to improve how we operate county government like a business,” said County Executive Steinhaus.     “Our energy strategy of working with local energy professionals with extensive experience in the utility marketplace has allowed us to make the best energy purchase decisions resulting in significant cost savings for taxpayers.”

This energy RFP is the third time in the past five years the County Executive has chosen to go out to bid for electricity and look for savings.  Previously, the County opted not to “lock in” to a fixed rate after careful analysis of the energy market dynamics and close review of the offers submitted by energy suppliers.   “Our decision not to lock in to a fixed rate after those RFPs has saved county property taxpayers an estimated $940,000 over the past 5 years,” said Steinhaus.

Since that time, prices for electricity have reached new lows but the energy market has become more volatile.    Locking in at a rate of less than 0.07 per kWh provides the County and DCC with a predictable, manageable energy cost for the next three years and guarantees the County and DCC will be shielded from any sudden price spikes that could occur.

“In these challenging times, it is more important than ever to take advantage of opportunities to cut costs,” said DCC Board of Trustees Chairman Thomas LeGrand.  “We are pleased to partner with the County in this collaborative agreement to achieve important savings for Dutchess Community College.”

Several companies submitted price proposals in response to the RFP.    Interestingly, Dutchess County government did not receive a bid proposal price from the Municipal Energy and Gas Alliance (MEGA) even though the administration has been lobbied heavily for years to join the cooperative buying firm.     Dutchess County government had previously considered a price proposal from MEGA in 2009, but after extensive review, found the County could save more money by buying directly from energy suppliers. The actual documented savings by not accepting MEGA’s 2009 price proposal totaled nearly $129,000 for county property taxpayers.

“The energy market is constantly changing.   Thanks to our extensive energy analysis and ongoing commitment to cost control, we have been successful in seizing opportunities in the energy market to save county taxpayers money. ” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.

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County Executive

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