You Picked All the Low-Hanging Fruit, Now What?

2012 APWA International Congress



Harry Lorick and Mary Joyce Ivers presented, "You Picked All the Low-Hanging Fruit, Now What?" at the International Congress in Anaheim, California.

This presentation covers how you can further optimize your operations after you have resolved the easier and obvious issues. Other options that are more heavy personnel, system processes and/or capital extensive issues will be covered. We will discuss in an overview fashion how several agencies are addressing this issue with a specific case study on what the City of Ventura is doing. First, we will cover the City of Ventura and then we will highlight what other agencies are doing in establishing system and process improvement.

For the City, cutting energy costs and protecting our environment and natural resources has been a focus of the City of Ventura for more than a decade. The City is committed to reducing its reliance on non-renewable energy sources and integrating energy saving measures as part of its overall sustainable performance measures, policies and practices.  These efforts have paid off in generating annual cost savings of over $1.7 Million dollars.  What is next to continuing to meet the challenges of reducing our carbon footprint and reliance on non-renewable energy?

This session will address ways to improve a building’s energy performance –operationally, financially, and environmentally.  Innovative energy conservation projects will be demonstrated on how to integrate emerging technology into existing building systems, use current data to manage sustainable building operations, improve energy efficiency performance, and reduce the environmental footprint.    Other key factors in reducing energy usage and improving operations is with employee behaviors and Public Works operations.  One strategy that will be explored is the implementation of a Facilities Business Plan and Service Level Agreements to partner with the building occupants to be energy wise and support environmentally friendly operations.


In addition, we will present a collage of what various agencies are doing throughout the County to improve their facilities operations using combination system and process improvement. This will include establishment of the integrated systems, preparing standard operating procedures, realigning facility operations and organization. We will outline an example of where one county was able to capture an additional over $1 million dollars in revenue by properly tracking and accounting for all of the work done using current technology. Another improvement using system was how staff integration of various building functions within a County allowed on agency to reduce facilities staff and maintain service. These changes mentioned however took considerable time and were not a single recommendation instead a process with a combination of systems, implementation and training.



Harry Lorick, P.E., PWLF
Principal, LA Consulting, Inc., Manhattan Beach, California

Mary Joyce Ivers
CPFP, City of San Buenaventura, Ventura, CA

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