Kentucky’s state parks system is two months into a major energy savings project at nine of its parks. The project is part of Governor Steve Beshear’s Initiative for Smart Government, which is designed to reduce government waste.
Kentucky State Parks began its energy savings initiative by focusing on energy consumption in nine of the resort parks in Western Kentucky. Commissioner Elaine Walker says the improvements run the gamut, from replacing inefficient light bulbs to installing low-flow toilets and showers to using solar panel to heat swimming pools.
“So it’s a broad scope of a project, but we’re very excited about it because not only will it reduce our energy footprint, but ultimately it will save the parks and the taxpayers money,” she said.
Walker says by the time the nine initial parks are finished, reduced carbon dioxide emissions will be the equivalent of removing 1,400 cars from the road a year.
“And so that’s a pretty substantial part of Parks footprint that we’re going to address,” she said. “So not only are we going to be breathing cleaner air, we’re going to be using less energy and saving money in the long run.”
The energy upgrades to these first nine parks will cost about $10.4 million. The contractor has estimated energy savings of at least $1 million dollars a year, but Walker says she thinks the actual savings will be even greater.