Sunday, August 29, 2010

District Energy Manager Leaving the Nest? Or Feathering It?

We found this article in the STAR quite interesting.
Alders vote to draft a contract for energy manager position. Alders voted 4-1 to move forward with drafting a contract for an energy manager position, which will be brought back to the committee for approval at a later date. Freund was the only alder who voted against drafting a contract.
Gregory Klaas, energy manager for the Sun Prairie Area School District for four years, recently submitted a proposal for the energy manager position. Klaas asked for $12,000 plus 60 percent of cost savings over the initial $12,000. Klaas said he saved the district more than $2.6 million over those four years.
District 1 Alder Hariah Hutkowski said trying to save utility costs “has gone beyond turning off light switches and installing automatic turn-on devices.” Alders raised concerns about the lack of a cap on the amount of cost savings a energy manager could earn through savings.
“I can’t support anything that doesn’t have an upper limit in terms of payment on this,” Freund said. “I think we need to take a look at where is our utility bills.”  “The upper limit is pragmatics - the money is coming out of savings that we would have spent had we not done something,” Hutkowski responded. “There is no risk, we’re saving 40 percent over a certain amount.”
--- STAR 8-26-10 (middle of the article "other Action: Alders vote to draft a contract for energy manager position")

So many, many questions!
Would our energy manager leave the nest if his proposal is accepted?
  ...or would he plan on working both for the district and the city?
  ...and if so, would the level of service we get suffer?
Didn't we just spend time and money doing a follow-up review of his 
hourly rate?
Would we even replace the position if he left?
Would the city of Sun Prairie actually consider such a contract? (if SPASD had entered into a similar contract, we would have paid over $1.3M in "bonus" alone.  Not even the $100K club come close to that level of compensation!

...and these are just a few we have.  We're betting you, community members, have others.