Building Smart Cities with Budget-Neutral Funding
Performance Services is here to help you build a smart city. Our team works with your city or town to develop a tailored, multifaceted approach to infrastructure improvements that can be completed with budget-neutral financing.
In the last couple of years, American cities have faced many challenges. From the pandemic to devastating weather events, cities and towns across the nation have been affected.
The impact of these events has increased awareness of grid reliability, water and sewer systems, and the rising energy cost. All the while, American cities, and towns are growing. City managers have to figure out how to fund infrastructure improvements. While state legislation options and federal relief funds make funding possible, knowing how or where to start can be challenging.
Infrastructure Improvements Your City Can Make With Budget-Neutral Financing
When building smart cities, infrastructure improvements that reduce energy consumption and help you save on maintenance and operation costs are good for the environment and your community. Plus, these smart infrastructure updates make your city or town more resilient, without the need for much, if any, upfront capital. Key energy conservation measures and infrastructure improvements to consider include:
ONSITE Power Generation
As discussion continues surrounding the long-term health of the power grids of America's cities, onsite power generation will become critical. Help your city become more resilient by thinking about an overall "microgrid" rather than just a backup generator.
Municipal power generation may be solved by battery storage, solar, or both. Due to the dramatic decrease in the cost of solar, municipalities with solar power are likely to see net cost savings vs. buying power from the grid. What's more, "demand response" programs designed to relieve the grid during times of strain can offer payback benefits as well.
Networked LED Streetlights
Networked LED streetlights provide a solid foundation for many smart city projects. LED lights use 50-75% less energy than what they replace and last 5-10 times as long. Streetlights with smart controls have been proven to improve road and pedestrian safety, and remote on-off, dimming, and scheduling help cities save by reducing energy consumption. Since replacement cost for streetlights is relatively low, the ROI of smart streetlights is almost always cash positive, and they provide a solid launch point for future smart initiatives:
- Creating a framework for narrowband and broadband communications
- Advancing public safety through security technologies
- Increasing ROI for AMI projects through streetlight nodes
Smart Water Meters
It's estimated that cities and utility districts could be losing as much as 15-25% of their annual water revenues due to aging technologies and water distribution infrastructure. Implementing Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and smart water meters gives your municipality better and more accurate data, pinpoint leak detection, and remote shut-off capability.
The combined benefit of AMI and smart meters is less non-revenue water loss and reduced operational costs for reading and maintaining old meter systems.
Water and Wastewater Improvements
For those cities that are eligible for American Rescue Plan funding, water and wastewater improvements are an important place to start. Even for those municipalities that don't qualify for ARP funds, energy savings performance contracts can help you rebuild and update crumbling water and wastewater infrastructure at little to no out-of-pocket costs.
America's Report Card: Why Now Is the Time to Make Smart Infrastructure Improvements
The United States' infrastructure is in bad shape. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers' 2021 report card for America's infrastructure, our country scores an overall C-. Our infrastructure is in dire need of help and attention. You and other public officials from your city or town can make a difference now.
Wondering how your city or town stacks up? Our engineers are here to help you evaluate your systems and develop a report card for your city. Get in touch with Performance Services for a facility assessment.
Have You Considered Budget-Neutral Financing for Your City?
Public officials know that for every smart infrastructure improvement they want to make, there's a funding obstacle to overcome. What many smaller cities and towns don't know is that budget-neutral financing is possible in most states.
Energy Savings Performance Contracts
No upfront capital is required when your city or town uses an energy performance contract to finance energy-focused infrastructure projects. Your smart infrastructure projects are financed and repaid with guaranteed energy and efficiency savings.
American Rescue Plan Funding
American Rescue Plan funding may be available for many cities and towns across the US that are investing in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure. When combined with a strategic infrastructure improvement plan, your city or town can use these funds to improve infrastructure.
Cities and Towns Benefitting from Smart Infrastructure Improvements
What's the Cost of Smart Infrastructure Improvements for Your City or Town?
Building a compelling case is the key to obtaining support for your smart city initiative. And that starts with determining how much infrastructure improvements will cost and what your city or town stands to gain.
When considering the cost of building a smart city, be sure to factor in:
- The priorities of your city, given existing needs and projections for future growth
- The age of key municipal equipment and systems
- The operational capabilities of municipal systems
- The reliability of those systems and their maintenance costs
- The staff required to service those systems, and their available capacities
- Potential energy and operational savings
- How you can avoid capital costs with smart improvements funded by energy savings contracts or American Rescue Funds
- The initial cost of the project, the total cost of the project, and the payback the finished project will deliver
While estimating the cost to build your smart city, be sure to consider what it will cost your city or town to wait. While your systems and equipment may be functioning now, what are the potential costs of failure in a crisis?
Not quite sure where to start? Get a Facility Assessment
Building Smart Cities—Where Do We Go From Here?
As most public officials know, any municipal project happens one step at a time. But when you can look past those incremental changes, the potential for your city is transformational. The smart improvements made by cities across the country are moving that American infrastructure scorecard closer to a positive grade. Improvements that are possible and achievable with budget-neutral financing aren't limited to just the above infrastructure options. Consider:
- Municipal narrowband, medium, or broadband network
- Intelligent streetlights with remote on-off, dimming, and scheduling plus advanced monitoring
- Smart parking that improves the municipal parking process while providing occupancy information
- Advanced emergency response systems with precise location data and video monitoring
- Intuitive traffic flow management
- Digital signage to communicate real-time smart city data
- Smart HD video surveillance for traffic management and public safety
And that's just the start! In building a smart city, all of these advanced features are not just possible; they're also trackable. Smart cities can roll all of those networks into one municipal platform with end-user applications, where data and analytics can be easily controlled and viewed by officials.