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      Horry County may go green to save some green

      On Tuesday, Horry County Council approved second reading of an ordinance to move forward with its partnership and plans with Pepco Energy Services.

      Pepco's plan is to retrofit 120 county building with more energy efficient appliances, including interior and exterior building lighting, as well as more energy efficient bathroom amenities.

      "It makes us more progressive, and it's a conscious decision that we need to try and save dollars. As the economy changes all the time, we need to look at all ways that we can save dollars for the people of Horry County, and that's what we are doing," said Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus.

      Lazarus said the county will save more than $570,000 every year.

      At Tuesday's meeting, an amendment was made to the ordinance, that any savings greater than Pepco projects will now go to an emergency maintenance fund that would help to repair or replace the energy efficient utilities.

      Currently, an audit is being performed by the energy company regarding how much it will cost to install more energy efficient utilities in all of the buildings.

      As part of the agreement, the retrofitting costs cannot exceed $10 million.

      Over the next 15 years, the county will pay Pepco the $10 million with the money it has saved from the energy efficient utilities.