October 6, 2015

Mostly cloudy

Medina County to save money by disabling air conditioning

MEDINA — Officials say the county will save $250,000 this year by turning off the air conditioning in county buildings on days energy use is in high demand.

The policy went into effect last week.

County Administrator Chris Jakab said the county will shut off the air conditioning in county buildings on five to 12 of the hottest days this summer when the regional energy grid is being used the most.

The county spends more than $2 million a year on energy costs, Jakab said.

“We are trying to keep out rates low for 2015,” he said.

Jakab said officials from the regional energy grid will let county officials know which days they will be measuring usage of the grid, so if the county turns off the air, the capacity rate will fall.

“When they sense a spurt in demand because of consecutive hot days, an alert goes out to officials that, say, tomorrow will be an ‘event day,’ ” he said.

Starting at 2:30 p.m. on “event” days, the air conditioning will be turned off at the Medina County Jail, Juvenile Detention Center, the Professional Building, courthouse, the prosecutor’s building, Job and Family Services, the administration building, the human services center and the engineering building.

The air conditioning will be turned back on at 6 p.m.

The county had its first event day June 18.

County officials will be warned one day in advance before the air conditioning is cut.

By curbing electricity use, the county hopes capacity rate charges will be reduced.

Jakab said the county staff is on board with the plan.

“We haven’t had any complaints from the elected officials or department heads,” Jakab said.

Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or adavis@medina-gazette.com.

Andrew Davis About Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis covered Medina city government for The Gazette from January 2014 to May 2015. Contact The Gazette's news department at (330) 721-4065 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.