WESTPORT — A project to improve energy-conservation for town and school buildings — and increase savings — won support Tuesday from the town’s Green Task Force.

The initiative, detailed for the task force by Iain Bruce, a member of the town’s Energy Performance Contracting Program Implementation Committee, proposes lighting improvements, energy-management system upgrades, weatherization and insulation changes among other energy-conservation improvements.

At a total cost of $8.37 million, the project is expected to take over eight years to recoup its costs. The undertaking is estimated to save $8.7 million over a 10-year period.

Annual projected energy savings include: 3,957,840 kilowatt hours of electricity, 137,480 hundred cubic feet of natural gas and 264 gallons of oil. Additionally, yearly emission reduction projections are: 6,128,755 pounds of carbon dioxide, 1,797 pounds of sulfur oxides and 5,926 pounds of nitrogen oxide.

"It changes the culture and will lead to significant, ongoing long-term savings decisions," Green Task Force Chairman David Mann said of the project.

Green Task Force member Tony McDowell agreed. "I think it’s great, it’s really good stuff,” he said.

First Selectman Jim Marpe explained the project will open the door for more green energy initiatives.

The project involves “trying to invest now with a return that seems quite certain and to demonstrate some degree of energy savings, and this allows us to begin also at the same time to create that broader strategic plan," Marpe said.

Marpe will appear before the Board of Finance to request an appropriation for the project on May 4. If that panel gives its approval, the proposal should go before the Representative Town Meeting in June.

@chrismmarquette / cmarquette@bcnnew.com