TO: Winnetka Environmental and Forestry Commission
DATE: September 18, 2012
SUBJECT: LIST OF VILLAGE’S “GREEN” INITIATIVES
The following lists outline, by department, current and possible future “green” programs or activities that have been or could be undertaken by the Village of Winnetka in order to further and promote the goals of reduced energy use, conservation of natural resources, pollution prevention, and reduced emission of greenhouse gasses.
- The meter reader vehicles are LEV cars.
- Unused office paper, newspapers, etc. are recycled.
- We evaluate energy consumption – energy star ratings for computer and office equipment when making new purchases.
- The Village continues to increase its electronic storage capabilities thereby limiting paper usage (i.e. filing the Council packets on the V drive allows users to reference those documents electronically versus printing a copy for all users).
- All computer processing units are Energy Star compliant.
- All computer monitors are energy efficient LCD.
- Metropolitan Mayors’ Greenest Region Compact. In February, 2008, the Village joined in the Greenest Region Compact, developed by the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus. The Compact is a voluntary initiative to improve the region’s air, water and land, reduce greenhouse gases, minimize waste, and reduce energy consumption through a series of environmental actions.
- Our motor fleet (diesel vehicles) all utilize B20 premium diesel (80% of fuel is diesel and 20% is bio fuels)
- Our last 2 vehicle purchases are environmentally friendly
- Ambulance is listed as a “clean fuel fleet vehicle”
- Replacement staff car is a E85 “ULEV” (ultra low emissions vehicle)
- Have installed motion detectors in all 1st floor bathrooms so that the lights do not stay on all the time.
- We are reviewing where we can replace incandescent bulbs with fluorescent.
As the current Patrol Fleet vehicles reach replacement mileage, they are being replaced with 8-cylinder cars that are equipped with cylinder de-activators that allow the cars to operate on 4 cylinders during low-speed cruising and patrol activities.
As non-enforcement Police Fleet vehicles reach replacement mileage, they are being replaced with more fuel efficient 6-cylinder cars.
As current emergency and auxiliary lighting on squad cars becomes unserviceable, it is being replaced with energy efficient LED lighting that draws less current, thus saving fuel and battery life.
Alternate vehicles, such as the ATV, motorcycle, and bicycles have been employed for various patrol activities for the past years, when appropriate. This results in a net fuel savings (and promotes officer health), and reduces pollutants released into the environment.
Officers have been directed to reduce vehicle idling when not necessary for the operation of vehicles or installed electronic equipment.
The Police Department purchases low-lead firearms training ammunition, which results in no airborne lead particulates. In addition, all spent lead and brass casings are retrieved and re-cycled.
- Interior Building Environment
The Firearms Range is equipped with an environmentally friendly HEPA filtering system which filters out all contaminants before exhausting.
Building lighting is energy efficient fluorescent where possible.
The building, in general, is energy efficient, with thermopane windows, weather insulated, and has an energy efficient HVAC system.
Interior lighting in unoccupied areas of the building is turned off as long as safety is not compromised.
Possibilities for the Future:
- The Police Department plans a roof rehabilitation that will utilize a white reflective low solar gain material that will reduce the amount of energy consumed to cool the building.
Public Works Department
- LED Traffic Signal Conversion. The Village converted all of its traffic signal installations from incandescent bulbs to Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs. Although they are more expensive to install initially, LED’s burn brighter, last longer, and use significantly less energy. By converting these installations, the Village uses roughly 85% less energy to power its traffic signals. This program was partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.
- B20 Biodiesel. In 2001, the Village converted its diesel fuel supply from 100% petroleum-based diesel to B20 Biodiesel, which is a blend of 80% petroleum diesel and 20% diesel made from soybean oil and used cooking grease. Biodiesel is renewable, reduces petroleum use, and reduces emissions of certain gasses and particulates. On the other hand, Biodiesel has been associated with small (3-4%) increases in NOx, a primary component of ozone, as compared to 100% petroleum-based diesel.
- LEV/FFV Fleet purchases. The Village has for the last several years been certified with the Illinois EPA as a Clean-Fuel Fleet, meaning that its fleet purchases have complied with the Clean Fuel Fleet Program requirements. These requirements are 70% lower than the emission standards for general production vehicles.
- Stormwater runoff Best Management Practices (BMP’s). The Village has been regulating drainage in conjunction with building construction projects for a number of years, however in the last three or four years, the Village has not only managed these projects to minimize runoff rates, but also to minimize pollutant and sediment discharge. The Village has been requiring erosion and sediment control plans, and has been requiring stormwater discharge to take advantage of natural filtering through grassy areas, where feasible. These activities are intended to reduce sediment and pollutant loads in local waterways.
- Tree City/Tree Protection. The Village has very stringent tree protection ordinances, and has been a “Tree City” for 18 years running. These programs conserve the Village’s trees, which is beneficial to the environment.
- Salt Conservation. The Village has for many years worked diligently to minimize the amount of de-icing salts used on our roadways. It is the Village’s policy not to salt residential streets except at stop signs, hills, and curves, or in extreme icing conditions. The Village has also been an early advocate of anti-icing policies, under which salt brine (rock salt mixed with water) is pre-applied to streets in advance of a storm. This brining procedure reduces salt use by providing better, more uniform coverage of pavements than spreading rock salt, and also eliminates the problem of salt “bounce”, where rock salt bounces or is kicked off the roadway onto adjacent lawns. These policies have reduced the amount of salt used by the Village by as much as 30% from the early 1990’s.
- Engine idle reduction program. There are certain activities and locations where engine idling is prevalent, both among Village operations and among the general population. Village employees are provided with formal policy guidance to minimize engine idling.
Possibilities for the Future:
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification for Village Hall. Village staff has recently commissioned a needs analysis for upgrades and modernization of the Village Hall. This project entails improvements to the existing heating and cooling systems, restoration of windows, improvements to the layout of the Finance Department, and other improvements. As part of the improvement program, the design contract could include an analysis and recommendations for LEED certification for the Village Hall.
- LEED Evaluation for Village Yards. The Village recently completed a renovation of the Village Yards. The Village could commission a LEED analysis of the Yard Facility to determine what, if any, improvements could be made to the yards to reduce energy use and obtain LEED certification.
- Expand Hybrid Vehicle Fleet. The experiment with the hybrid Ford Escape has thus far resulted in increased fuel economy and reduced emissions when compared to the previous vehicle. This experiment could be extended to include additional vehicles in the Department. It should be noted that the additional purchase cost of these vehicles will probably not be offset by reduced fuel expenses, unless fuel prices increase significantly. The benefit of this program would not be economic, but would be in reduced dependence on petroleum, and reduced emissions.
- Porous pavement/rain gardens. New pavements composed of interlocking larger aggregates have been developed that allow rainwater to percolate through the pavement into the soil rather than simply become runoff. The Village could implement this technology in some of its parking areas in order to reduce stormwater runoff.
- Alternate hours and activities on ozone action days. Several times a year, the Chicago area is placed under ozone action days. An ozone action day is declared when air quality is poor, as a result of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides being changed by their interaction with sunlight and causing ozone, a harmful compound that affects breathing. There are several activities that the EPA recommends avoiding or postponing on ozone action days. Among these activities engaged in by the Village are vehicle refueling, lawn-mowing, asphalt paving, and vehicle operations. The Village could consider modifying its operations in ways that reduce these activities on ozone action days.
Water & Electric Department
- Street Lights Color corrected high pressure sodium (HPS) street lights have replaced previously existing street lights in most street light applications. HPS lamps have significantly reduced energy consumption used in the street lights. For example, 70 watt HPS replaced a 200 watt incandescent, 150 watt HPS replaced a 250 watt mercury vapor, and 225 watt HPS replaced 400 watt mercury vapor.
- Distribution Line Transformers New transformers installed on the Village’s electric system far exceed the voluntary efficiency requirements of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) TP-1 Standard, “Guide for Determining Energy Efficiency for Distribution Transformers” and meet the proposed 2010 Department of Energy high efficiency standard. The increased efficiency of the transformers reduces the electrical system losses.
- Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) Pumps Over time, seven of the ten large conventional single speed pumps used in the Village’s water system have been replaced with VFD pumps. These pumps provide increased operating flexibility and efficiency by allowing the pump to operate at maximum efficiency at different output levels. The older single speed pumps only operate at full speed and are controlled by dampening water flow with valves.
- Exceed “Clean Fuel Fleet” Standards. The Clean Fuel Fleet Program (CFFP) is a requirement of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 for certain areas of the country (i.e. Cook County) not meeting federal air quality standards. Vehicles used in the Water & Electric Department exceed this requirement. In addition, line trucks use biodiesel fuel (80% diesel fuel, 20% bio fuel)
- Interior Building Environments
Fluorescent Lighting Energy efficient fluorescent lighting has been incorporated into remodeling projects of facilities used by the Water & Electric Department. T-34 fluorescents were used in the construction of the Yards facility, remodel of the Yards high bay, and also in the Village Hall remodel.
Insulation Increased energy efficiency of structures by adding or improving insulation level. Re-insulated existing roof at the Water & Electric garage and warehouse. Northfield substation control house was insulated to reduce heat loss.
Coal: Village of Winnetka discontinued using coal as a fuel in 1990. Boilers were converted to dual fuel (natural gas/diesel fuel). This reduced emissions from plant when operated for generation.
Turbine #4 Overhaul: By reconditioning turbine blades and diaphragms in first stage of turbine, the turbines efficiency and output were increased (approx. 5%).
- Intake Maintenance. Historically, we have used dredged material removed from the intake and discharge ponds for beach reclamation. The latest being in the spring of 2006.
- Recycling. Waste oil, scrap metals, and fluorescent light bulbs are routinely recycled.
- Chlorine Dissipation. Outdoor settling basins were covered for security concerns and to reduce chlorine dissipation, significantly reducing sunlight “burn off” of chlorine.
Possibilities for the Future:
Natural Gas Vehicles. The Village is investigating the cost-effectiveness of converting some of its fleet to operate on compressed natural gas.
- Hybrid Vehicles Investigate opportunity to use hybrid electric vehicles when replacing existing vehicles in the future. Recently, the utility industry has advanced development of hybrid bucket trucks.
- Lighting Additional opportunities to install fluorescents or compact fluorescent lighting remain at the Water & Electric Plant. As fixtures are replaced, Staff will continue to incorporate energy efficient lighting designs. In addition, there are opportunities to install motion sensors to insure lights are on only when the work area is occupied.
- Solar heating Investigate opportunities to utilized solar heating to improve efficiency of water heating systems.
- Green roofs Investigate opportunity to incorporate green roof into future roof repairs and/or replacements. The Water & Electric Plant has several flat roofs that may provide suitable support for this design.
- FR3 Distribution Transformer Fluid Investigate the use of FR3 transformer fluid to replace mineral oil in various transformer applications. FR3 is manufactured from soybeans.
- Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s). Purchased one lump sum of REC’s to offset 50% of the electric load for Village buildings, saving a net of 2,100 metric tons of CO2 emissions.
- Net Metering. The Village is in the process of adopting appropriate ordinances and policies to provide for homeowners to install solar panels or other renewable energy equipment to supply part or all of the energy needs of a residence If the equipment is supplying more electricity than the home is consuming, excess energy would be placed on the power grid, and the homeowner would receive a credit for this energy.