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"Excellent contractor! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to work with such a fine firm. Thanks to all of the staff who participated in this project."

Director of Property Management, Hartford Parking Authority

"John Paquette and his associates performed far above expectations, so much so, that their method operation and concise paper work were used as a model for other contractors to follow. "

Program Administrator, Northeast Utilities

"Their work and commitment to each individual project is very commendable and I would recommend Paquette Electric with the highest regard of some of the best I have had the opportunity to work with over my 30 years of experience."

Executive Project Manager, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation

"As a representative of Johnson Controls, I am pleased to provide a positive reference for Paquette Electric Co., Inc. I have worked with your company over the past six and a half years on various projects and have always been pleased with our working relationship. These projects have included Automatic Temperature Controls, Fire Alarm, Security, and PLC installations.

While on the job site, Paquette Electric has always handled themselves in a professional and courtious manner and represented Johnson Controls in a likewise fashion. The knowledge of our installations and the construction projects at hand was important to the successful outcomes of these projects. We continue to depend on Paquette Electric for installations on key projects for our organization."

Andrew Koehnke
Johnson Controls, Inc.
Systems Branch Manager
Connecticut/Western Massachusetts

Town Reduces Energy Costs Through CL&P Program

By Bruce Coulter
Villager Staff Writer

Thompson- It takes money to make money. So says an old adage of business. It also takes money to save money. So say Director of Finance Michael Martin and First Selectman A. David Babbitt. While the cost of electricity has spiked over the past 18 months, subtle changes in the Town Hall and the Thompson Public Library have saved the town nearly $5,000 and, in turn, will help taxpayers keep some cash in their wallets.According to Babbitt, Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) offered a program last year that would provide towns the opportunity to cut their energy consumption, and more importantly, CL&P would bear half the cost.CL&P approached the town-just one of 10 invited, Babbitt added, to participate in the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund program. After looking into the program, the boards of selectmen and finance approved the initial cost of $10,350, which Babbitt said, was built into the budget.

"The savings have been pretty good, even though the rates have gone up," he said. "It was good move."

Paquette Electric in Pomfret performed the electrical work for the buildings.

"Once we got the okay, and from the day they started, it took a month [to complete work] in the Town Hall and probably about the same amount of time at the library," Babbitt said.The changes were as simple as replacing lighting fixtures and ballasts, and connecting the lighting system to motion detectors, which turn lights on in office spaces automatically when anyone enters a room and shuts them off when no motion has been detected for 20 minutes.With new lighting fixtures in place, Babbitt said, it now takes just two bulbs to offer the same lighting as four bulbs.It sounds like a small thing, but it saves on consumption to the tune of 8 percent to 10 percent per month," he said.While many consumers have saved cash thanks to an unusually warm winter, Martin said, the savings the town and library have experienced is strictly a result of the lighting changes. That's the only reason we can come up with no electric heating anywhere in the buildings," Martin explained.

The upside for residents?

"Any money we can save is less we have to raise in taxes," he said.

The town has saved cash despite the hikes in electric rates, Martin explained.

Because of the increases, Thompson saw rates increase from 0.1460 per kilowatt-hour in fiscal 2006, to 0.1831 in the current fiscal 2007. The Town Hall's usage is 48, 080, a 4.6 percent decrease. "If we hadn't got the decrease in usage, our bill would be $424.78 higher over last year,' he said.At the library, which has a lower rate because fo the higher demand for electricity, the town has saved $4256.30."Last year, the library used 175,040 kilowatt-hours in the first six months," Martin added. This year, the library has used 146,360 kilowatt-hours for the same period."We've had tremendous success, not only with Thompson, but with municipalities across the state," said Mitch Gross, a spokesman for CL&P.

Gross described the Small Business Energy Advantage Program as a "turnkey energy saving service.""We, at no cost to the customer, bring in a CL&P approved contractor to conduct and energy assessment of the customer's facility," he explained. "From there, the contractor installs the energy efficiency methods."The methods, he added, can also include heating, ventilation and air conditioner tune-up and refridgeration.

CL&P, he said, is also working closely with the architects of the school expansion and will make a series of energy efficiency and conservation recommendations.

"We're waiting for the appropriate parties to sign off on recommendations that could save the town money in the future on energy costs," Gross said.If other municipalities are looking to get involved, Gross said, they can call 1-877-WISE-USE (947-3873) for more information.

Bruce Coulter may be reached at (860) 928-1818, ext. 108, or by e-mail at