It doesn’t add up

The article in the Sept. 14 paper motivated me to find a calculator and crunch some numbers

The article in the Wednesday, Sept. 14 paper titled “City Hall’s one-of-a Kind green roof…” motivated me to find a calculator and crunch some numbers. A 25 per cent reduction in electrical costs equating to $15,000 in savings converts to an initial cost of $60,000 per year, reduced to $45,000  per year.  That is quite impressive! The forecast 12.5 per cent reduction in heating/cooling costs equating to cost savings of $2,100 per year converts to an initial cost of  $16,800 per year, reduced to $14,700.  That appears somewhat less  impressive. The 15 per cent energy savings of $4,240 during the five-month heating season  from November to March converts to an initial seasonal heating cost of $28,266.67 or $5,653.33 per month, reduced by $848 per month to $4,805.33. Now I’m getting less than impressed…. I’m getting confused. If 12.5 per cent of the total annual heating and cooling costs  converts to an initial annual cost of $16,800, how can 15 per cent of  the seasonal heating cost convert to $28,266.67? That is  $11,466.67 greater than the supposed total annual heating and  cooling costs.  Something doesn’t add up, or….I’m confused. Accuse me of being picky, but electrical consumption at a rate of “53,000kilowatts per hour?” Perhaps the person intended to refer to 53,000 kilowatt hours, which coincidentally if multiplied by a rate  of $0.08 /kW.h happens to be $4,240 the same as the seasonal saving  stated in the article. Apart from stroking ourselves about how green we are and the awards that we have been given, let’s look at the final economics. The  roof cost $489,000. The annual savings in heating costs has been  identified as $4,240 by city staff. Let’s be optimistic and hope  that the annual cooling costs could be reduced by at least one half  that amount, $2,120 for a total of $6,360 per year.  $489,000 roof  cost, divided by $6,360 saving per year, equals 76 years to break  even. And it is…used by City staff as a gathering place? Now I  am not impressed. I shall avoid with extreme difficulty, pondering on the subject of heating City Hall with the hot air emanating from City Hall. Some of my other opinions:  I support Local Improvements for Campbellton.  I support R-1A for Barry Forberg.  I support wage increases for City CUPE Members. E. W. (Ted) Maxwell