The city will receive $556,000 in federal funds to reduce energy consumption in public buildings.
The grant from the U.S. Department of Energy could be made available within a month, Thomas Ivers, the city's block grant coordinator, said Friday.
Among the programs that the grant will cover is a wireless Internet connection to network all of the municipal facilities within a 1.5-mile radius of the Parsons Government Center, according to the grant application.
The wireless network would allow energy consumption data from each location to be gathered in "real time,'' under changing circumstances.
"One thing we'd do first is benchmarking, establishing the baseline energy usage for each building so that we can measure progress,'' said Ivers, who also chairs the city's Clean Energy Task Force.
Recreation Director William McCarthy said the broadband connection will link 20 community centers and other facilities managed by his department.
"The data would be sent to a central location and it will allow us to see how much we are spending on energy in any one of our buildings at any minute,'' McCarthy said.
That information, in turn, will be used to plan efficiencies to reduce consumption, according to the plan.
Also included in the federal grant is money for technical assistance with a fuel cell for the Housatonic Wastewater Treatment plant that could provide most of the power to run the plant.
The Board of Aldermen last week accepted the task force's "Energy Road Map,'' calling for a 10 percent reduction in the city's consumption by 2015. "That is about $600,000, which is not an insignificant sum,'' Ivers said.
The city's electric bill in 2005 was nearly $3.4 million, and 21.1 million kilowatt hours were used, according to task force data.
ORIGINAL FRANK JULIANO STORY CT POST