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Phil Kirk Speaks on Energy Conservation

UNCW Improvements Featured

Phil Kirk, director of Brady Energy Services (, discussed the growing impact of energy efficiency on the economy and the environment in remarks to the Wilmington Rotary Club on Tuesday, February 22. The meeting was held at 12:30 p.m. at the Coastline Convention Center. Kirk discussed trends in energy production and conservation and spoke about the work Brady is doing at UNCW.

Kirk told club members that the $4.3 million Performance Contract construction project at UNCW is nearly complete. He said that Brady and Trane Comfort Solutions, Inc. are guaranteeing a savings of $333,566 per year, which will pay back the 20-year loan for the project. Kirk emphasized that all the new equipment, lighting, solar tubing, and other improvements “do not cost the taxpayers a penny.”

“If the guarantee is not met in any year, Mr. Brady will have to write a check for the difference,” Kirk said. “And if the savings are greater, the university keeps the money.”

“UNC Wilmington is committed to reducing water and energy consumption, increasing operational efficiencies, and leveraging underutilized central plant assets as part of its conservation commitment and cost reduction efforts,” Kirk said. “The leadership of Chancellor DePaolo and her staff is to be commended for improving the internal and external environment on campus at no cost to the taxpayers.”

Kirk also addressed state and national trends, stating that the reliance on coal and oil is expected to drop from 84 percent of all energy to 78 percent in 25 years. He cited federal and state laws that mandate more use of wind, solar and other renewable energy sources as a primary reason. Kirk said these alternative sources will provide 17 percent of all electricity production by 2035, nearly doubling the current nine percent.

He noted a growing support for nuclear power. Although there has not been a new nuclear power plant permitted in the United States in more than 30 years, Kirk said “aging facilities will have to be replaced unless America drastically reduces its electricity consumption.”

“Right now, we are trending downward toward one percent annual growth in demand,” said Kirk. “This is the right direction; however, it still means we need to generate more electricity than we currently are and the cost of that power is going to increase.”

Kirk credited the state legislature with taking steps to save money and energy in all state and local government-owned buildings. These include a mandate to reduce consumption by 35 percent and the ability to finance the facility upgrades with the money that will be saved. Called performance contracting, the solutions provider guarantees a dollar value of energy and operational savings that will pay for the improvements. The savings are audited on an annual basis. If actual savings are less than projected, the contractor writes a check to the building owner for the difference. “This means more efficient buildings at zero cost to taxpayers,” Kirk added.

He mentioned that Brady was the first to provide performance contracting to the state at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Operational costs of the museum have been reduced by more than $50,000 a month with savings at the end of three years exceeding $2.1 million. Kirk also mentioned that Brady performance contracts are reducing the cost of both primary and secondary education. Durham Public Schools, Wayne County Schools and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro are all more energy efficient with performance contracts by Brady in place.

About Brady:
Brady is headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina with offices in Raleigh, Fayetteville, Wilmington and Charlotte. Founded in 1962 by Chairman Don Brady, the company remains a family owned enterprise, today employing nearly 300 associates. The company works with building owners, facility managers, developers, architects, engineers and contractors providing sustainable, comprehensive building solutions for commercial and industrial facilities. Brady provides customers with a diverse range of solutions including building automation, energy conservation, green design, performance contracts, mechanical systems, parts and supplies, as well as responsible technical support. For more information, visit or call (800) 849-1915.

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