Municipal Facilities Energy Conservation Project

The City of Bellingham finished 47 energy improvement projects to save money and energy. The improvements are estimated to reduce energy use by more than 20% across 22 City facilities. Because of the high energy savings anticipated and the City’s track record of fiscal management, the project is funded by federally-subsidized Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds.


  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
    The Climate Protection Program sets a City goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in its municipal operations. In 2007, the Bellingham City Council committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 64% in 2012 and 70% in 2020, compared with the 2000 baseline year emissions. The package of upgrades is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by nearly 1000 metric tons annually, representing a 15% reduction from the baseline.
  • Support the Community Energy Challenge
    By establishing and following through on an energy savings plan, the City set a positive example for the Community Energy Challenge, a community initiative encouraging both businesses and households to conserve energy. This City was among a number of co-sponsors for the Challenge, which was coordinated by the Sustainable Connections and the Opportunity Council.
  • Capture energy and operational savings
    In selecting projects, the City aimed for a package that would provide financial benefits, capture cost-effective savings, and replace equipment that is at or beyond its useful life. These replacements help the City avoid costly emergency repairs and ensure equipment is high efficiency.
  • Improve control of buildings
    Installation of new building management systems gave facility staff better capabilities to monitor energy and control buildings. For example, when public buildings are scheduled for evening or weekend events, staff remotely adjust temperature without physically visiting the site. These systems provide trending data to help keep track of energy use.


  • Lighting retrofits
  •  HVAC equipment replacement, boilers and rooftop units
  • Web based direct digital HVAC control systems
  • Comprehensive HVAC and building controls replacement at the Arne Hanna Aquatic Center created significant energy savings and improve indoor air quality
  • Testing of equipment to ensure it operates efficiently


  • Johnson Controls:  $6.15 million
  • Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds were approved by Bellingham City Council in March 2011
  • Utility savings and incentives provided by Puget Sound Energy and Cascade natural Gas
  • Capital replacement funds budgeted to repay the bonds


  • State of Washington Department of General Administration
  • Johnson Controls
  • Blythe Plumbing and Heating
  • Dahl Electric
  • PSF Mechanical

For further information, please call Myron Carlson, Facilities Manager at the Bellingham Public Works Department.