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Bucks County Backs Off Plan To Shut Off Air Conditioning At Courthouse

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – Bucks County officials say it’s unlikely the county will continue to participate in an energy program this summer that could have saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The county is part of an “energy curtailment” program that, if maximized over the summer, could have saved the taxpayers as much as a quarter of a million dollars.

But it involved shutting down the air conditioning at the courthouse and the prison between 3 PM and 6 PM on certain days to cut peak load — and that drew complaints from county workers (see previous story).

Bucks County COO Brian Hessenthaler says they were just asking the employees for shared sacrifice and didn’t believe anyone’s health was at risk.

“I just wanted to make sure the county is not being painted as a bad guy here,” he told KYW Newsradio this afternoon.  “What we’re actually trying to do is find a way to save taxpayers money.  We have other county employees who work out in this heat.  There are other taxpayers who work out in this heat.”

The county has cut the air conditioning on six days this summer, but to really take advantage of the savings they had to do it on the hottest days, which was creating a problem.

No word on whether they will consider it again next summer.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060


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More from Brad Segall
  • Nostromo

    Without the circulation of air in that building people’d soon be overcome by the heat and stuffiness. An airless vault with tremendous solar-gain, in some sections, it is. Add to that the storage of priceless written records which must be maintained via climate control. Give the people (those working in and visiting the courthouse) a break. Not to mention great aunt Millie’s deed.

  • Greg

    It’s too bad the public workers of Bucks County have choosen to protest this attempt by the County to conserve energy and save the Tax Payers money. Private Sector businesses and employees all over the tri-state area have joined into this program and are saving. We are all treating it as part of the shared sacrifice made to cut costs. We can deal with it for a few hours in the afternoon 6 or 7 days in the summer. Sounds to me like the public employees of Bucks County are unwilling to make the same sacrifice.

  • NS

    How about turning lights off during the day to conserve energy and reduce temperatures instead?

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