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Six exciting energy saving projects ongoing in the territory

According to TEO deputy director James Christian Rawson, there are six Territorial Energy Office projects in progress he is calling “most exciting”  for the territory.

They are part of nine Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) projects which have netted a total of $9.5935 million in funding granted to TEO, and they must be completed by the end of December 2013.

The six projects yet to be completed are:

* A TEO audit inspection of certain buildings to find out which phase of each building loses the most energy;

* The development by TEO of the first Energy Building Code for American Samoa housing;

* Laying of the main Electric Distribution Power Line by ASPA;

* An energy awareness program implemented by ASCC;

* Developing a Photo Voltaic building for the local EPA offices; and

* TEO will supply equipment to pick up plastic and glass of all sorts for recycling.

The audit project involves an inspection of 50 government buildings and twelve commercial buildings to find out whether it is the heating and air conditioning ventilation, insulation ventilation or the lighting, which loses the most energy. When they find out, they will retrofit them to make the buildings LEED [Leadership, Energy, Efficient Design] certified.

According to Rawson, the survey has been done, and they have 56 buildings already marked for the project and are ready to start with the retrofitting process which will cost $5.01 million, of which $2.4 mil is already expended. The EPA building is one of the buildings they have worked on.

The first Energy Building Code for American Samoa housing involves developing the kind of materials used for this type of building, and how to design buildings to make sure the building is energy efficient when completed. The TEO has contracted an off island company, Pacific North West National Laboratory for the project with a total cost of $260,000.

The laying of the main Electric Distribution Power Line project was awarded to ASPA, with the cost of $850,000. The project is nearly completed and TEO has already expended $340,000.

The ASCC program is mainly geared towards awareness, educating ASCC students on how to save energy, with the understanding that they are the ones who will become tomorrow’s leaders in the territory and hopefully implement and practice the knowledge attained.

A total amount of $130,000 has been allotted to the program. Rawson said, “We have seen great contests come out of the program and also T-shirts with great messages were printed and distributed to students.”

The development of a Photo Voltaic EPA building is allotted $337,000, and has been contracted and awarded. This building will use solar panels as its main source of electricity.

For the recycling project, TEO will be supplying equipment to pick up plastic and glass of all sorts for recycling. A non-profit organization from Taiwan is going to be here this month for a familiarization visit and will determine particularly the logistics of shipping the plastic off-island.

This same TEO project will also expand on the recycling of aluminum cans and grinding of the waste glass bottles of all sorts to make granule sand for families to use in their front yards or use in all sorts of building decorations — out of the different colors of ground glass.