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The Towers at Laguna Woods Village unveils $2.2 million energy management project

Article by the Orange County Register

In an aim to upgrade The Towers at Laguna Woods Village’s technology to be more environmentally friendly and cost effective, a $2.2 million energy management project is now fully underway. 
Once the project – which includes replacing all lights with energy efficient LED’s as well as lighting controls, smart thermostats, Ceramic window film on all windows and high efficiency transformers – is completed as expected by the end of 2018, the Towers will save approximately $20,000 per month in energy costs, while reducing the building’s carbon emissions by 260 metric tons per year, Towers General Manager Katherine Howe said. 
“The project is about bringing the building into the 21st century and having this building be state-of-the-art, in regards to what it takes to provide electricity for a building of this size in this day and age,” Howe said. 
Managing the building will also be easier by having the entire heating and cooling system on energy-management software, which will enable the entire building’s temperature to be managed by a centralized platform, Howe said. 
Howe said that by partnering with Torrance-based ADEC, Inc., which provided the energy savings work, and using South County Bank of Irvine as the lender, the project will essentially pay for itself with its energy savings. 
“Over the lifespan of the loan we received, which is 12 years, it will pay for itself,” Howe said. “The loan payments will be paid by the savings in electricity costs.” 
Chuck Johnson, Towers purchasing agent and contract administrator, echoed Howe and added that the modern technology, such as the smart thermostats, will be useful to Towers residents as well as staff. 
“We’re just proud over here that we were able to get through to the finished project and get it done and implement a really good, solid project that’s going to save a ton of energy,” Johnson said. “In addition, the Towers will be demonstrating its environmental stewardship by reducing the carbon dioxide emissions from the facility.”


A Progressive Board

Howe said the Mutual No. Fifty board was the driving force behind the project. 
“This project is the culmination of years of planning and reflects the commitment of the board to environmental stewardship,” Mutual No. Fifty President Ryna Rothberg said in a release. 
Vice President Sy Wellikson also commended the project. “This project allows us the rare opportunity to create an asset for the community that yields immediate and permanent benefits, while honoring the doctrine of ‘paying it forward,’ providing for future residents’ comfort and safety,” Wellikson said in a release. “Just as our predecessor boards did before us”

June Greenwald, Laguna Woods Mutual 50 board secretary, Chuck Johnson, Towers contract administrator, Sy Wellikson, Laguna Woods Mutual No. Fifty board vice president, Ed Presley, Towers building maintenance, Ryna Rothberg, Laguna Woods Mutual No. Fifty board president, Irving Waaland, Laguna Woods Mutual No. Fifty board member, and Katherine Howe, Towers general manager. (Courtesy photo)

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