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Helena, Montana sees significant drop in energy usage, emissions

December 27, 2008View for printing

A report compiled by Helena officials and the city’s Climate Change Task Force shows that the Capital City’s government reduced its energy usage between 2001 and 2007 by 22.1 percent and its carbon dioxide emissions by 18.1 percent.

City officials knew the energy-saving changes they’d made in those years — everything from using more efficient light bulbs to installing smarter temperature controls — would make a dent in Helena’s energy usage, but they were surprised to learn they’d outpaced the Kyoto Protocol’s 20-year goals in less than a third of the time.

The drops in energy usage have translated into taxpayer dollars over the years. Using 2007 dollars, the city has saved more than $640,000 in energy bills throughout the six-year period. The city still saw a 61 percent increase in its energy budget due to rising prices, which added $757,000.

By LARRY KLINE - Independent Record

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