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.

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

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.