City of Sanger Uses Energy Performance Contract to Upgrade Infrastructure, Save on Utility Bills

The City of Sanger formed a partnership with Johnson Controls Inc. to upgrade city infrastructure, reduce energy usage, and employ Sanger residents by reducing utility costs, reducing operation and maintenance costs, and decreasing the outlay of capital dollars through the use of an energy performance contract (EPC). Learn more in this narrative on Sanger from the League of California Cities. Excerpts from the narrative on the results of the contract are below.

For more on energy performance contracting, click here. For coverage on the Sanger projects from the Fresno Bee, click here.


“The projects that were completed in just over 1 years’ time include: roof replacements for City Hall, Police, Fire, Annex; the replacement of 42 HVAC units; LED lighting retrofits across city buildings; a 1.2MW photovoltaic solar system – providing nearly all of the power to operate the waste water treatment plant; replacement or repair of 100% (over 6,500) of the City’s water meters and installation of a fully automated metering infrastructure (AMI) that reads all of the water meters automatically. A full city-wide leak detection system was also installed that will alert staff of any water leaks. The overall project cost was $10,764,345.

“…the City Council required that JCI use 75% of the labor for the project from local sources. Upon completion of the project JCI utilized approximately 83% local labor which amounted to 14,200 construction hours! They achieved this with creative solutions since Sanger is rather small and lacks a deep pool of contractors and trained individuals that were required by the project. JCI worked with local companies to train local Sanger residents how to install water meters and solar panels. Local contractors were used for electrical, lighting, fencing and roofing. JCI worked with union labor to agree to send union workers from Sanger to work on the HVAC. Local sign companies and CPAs were also used on the project. JCI’s efforts exceeded the Council’s expectations and resulted in several people obtaining long-term jobs. JCI has publically stated that Sanger has been one of the most aggressive cities it has worked with at involving its residents in the requirements of the contract.

“As a complement to staff’s efforts to create savings through energy efficiency through using state of the art technology, the City also applied for rebates through the PG&E managed California Solar Initiative and was able to secure nearly $1 million (originally $750K) in rebates over and above the contracted savings. These funds will come in as a monthly check over the next 5 years.

“Through the completion of the above projects, Sanger has ensured reduced utility costs, reduced operation and maintenance costs, and decrease in the outlay of capital dollars. This project posed quite the task for a small city with severely limited resources. Without the financing concept of performance contracting, and the innovative thinking of staff of the City of Sanger, the budgetary constraints and other challenges facing Sanger noted would not have allowed for this project to be completed.”  

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