Delaware auditor questions energy efficiency project

(File/NewsWorks)

(File/NewsWorks)

Delaware’s state auditor says there’s no proof that a multimillion-dollar energy efficiency project involving legislative mall buildings will ever pay off for taxpayers.

The project is part of a $67.4 million energy savings initiative by the Sustainable Energy Utility involving a variety of state facilities. The SEU is a state-created nonprofit closely tied to Sen. Harris McDowell III, D-Wilmington, its co-founder and chairman.

The legislative mall project will cost taxpayers $8 million over 20 years but is expected to result in energy cost savings of $2.7 million.

But auditor Tom Wagner says those savings are simply estimates that come with no guarantees and are based on incomplete or missing data.

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Officials with the SEU and Delaware’s Office of Management and Budget did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

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