The city of Hammond has announced a partnership with Illinois-based Leopardo Energy on a new energy savings program. Mayor Tom McDermott says the 14-month program will help the city reduce its carbon footprint and lower expenses.

The effort will involve upgrades to facilities, streetlights and fleet vehicles.That will include new LED lights, automation controls and upgraded HVAC systems at city buildings such as the Public Works Complex, Civic Center and police and fire stations. The city also plans nearly 240 new vehicles for the police, fire, inspections and public works departments, including 119 vehicles with bi-fuel propane systems.

The city expects the measures to produce more than $26 million in savings over 15 years in reduced fuel, utility and maintenance costs. McDermott says the program is an opportunity for city to "make much-needed capital improvements, increase energy efficiency and create positive cash flow for additional projects."