City expects to save millions in energy bills

Lawton_The City of Lawton is taking its first big step forward in becoming a greener community. They've found a way to replace all of the old water meters across the city with more efficient ones. The city has hired Chevron, which has also found ways to upgrade city buildings to make them more energy efficient; not only making Lawton greener, but saving the city millions in energy bills.

The City of Lawton has found a way to become a greener community without charging it's taxpayers a penny. "The way we pay for it is through the savings that we capture or realize," said City Manager Larry Mitchell.

Chevron is so sure Lawton will save enough money to pay their fee, they're offering a money-back guarantee. "We have a company that says, 'if you don't save what we think you're going to save, we'll write you a check for the difference,'" Mitchell said. "So that's a pretty good guarantee."

So how does this affect the average homeowner? "In the long run it's going to save them money," he said. "Money that we can use to spend on other projects and other activities. We constantly talk about trying to find money to do things, I think over the long run this will help us conserve those dollars to be used in other places."

But you're also going to see a difference in your water bill with the installation of new water meters at every home around town. There's about an 18-month transition period to get all those meters replaced, so you can expect to see those savings in 2010. "We're motivated because we can save some money," he said. "But we're also motivated because it's going to reduce overall consumption of those limited resources."

They're supposed to begin replacing those water meters in the next two or three weeks, so when you see vehicles or people with the logo "PMI" working around your neighborhood, now you'll know that they have been sub-contracted by Chevron to do the work.

Mitchell says with the surging price of oil and electricity, the city's timing for this conservation project is great because their savings could be even larger than their estimations.

Count on 7News to keep you updated on their progress.