Siemens Corporation has been tapped to provide energy-saving solutions to one California town. City leaders in Millbrae, Calif., have unanimously approved drafting a contract in conjunction with the company to analyze the city’s energy consumption with the goal of cutting back.
Siemens is scheduled to perform a full energy audit, after which the company will provide energy-saving equipment and strategies, such as efficient street lighting and solar panels on city buildings. This move is expected to be more cost efficient for the city than hiring an outside consulting firm to perform the same work.
Unlike most city contracts, the potential agreement does not allow other companies to bid on the project, meaning Millbrae is bound by state law to conduct a public hearing before it can enter into a legally binding contract with Siemens. That hearing is scheduled for September. The costs of the project could ease into the millions, although Councilman Paul Seto wants the city to cap the project around $1 million.
Siemens representative Jessie Thompson says the city would benefit from the energy reductions after it pays back Siemens for the loan with the energy savings, a process that could last as long as 20 years. If Millbrae chooses not to implement any of Siemens’ ideas and renege on the contract, the city must pay the company $25,000 for the energy audit. The city must also pay back the audit money if it does not execute the project under the conditions detailed in the letter of intent, which are still undetermined. The cost-neutrality of the project is uncertain at this time.