Bundled Energy Solutions Help VA Schools Retrofit Within Budget
Energy performance contracting enabled a public school system in Virginia, which had problems related to aging infrastructure and faltering building controls, make critical upgrades, while staying within its current budget and not burdening taxpayers. ABM, which provides building maintenance and facilities services, executed the contract through bundled energy solutions, which enabled the school system to fund all of its improvements through its existing budget.
The Orange County Public Schools will have $6.2 million worth of retrofit work done and the energy savings, which begin immediately, will cover that cost and the financing cost over a 15 year period, reports ABM in a case study.
The schools will see utility costs drop by 32 percent and savings of $9.3 million over the 15 year period, according to ABM, adding that its bundled energy solutions (BES) program for schools is designed to work on retrofit projects within any budget, so the schools won’t have to seek capital funding.
ABM has performed many such contracts for schools that tapped the BES program to reduce their deferred backlog of maintenance projects without seeking funding. It estimates that between 2009 and 2012, the contracts it performed saved 59 million kWh.
For Orange County Public Schools, the contractor will change lighting to LED, replace its HVAC systems, high-efficiency boilers, heaters circulating pumps and air cooled chillers that reduce energy usage and improve indoor air quality.
ABM will help 5 of the 10 schools switch from fuel oil for heating to propane heating, which is less expensive and environmentally friendly.
Schools in other parts of the country are waking up to the savings to be had from energy efficiency measures. In October last year, the Abilene Reporter-News reported that a Texas school district has saved over $500,000 in utility costs in the first nine months since it implemented an energy conservation management program. The Abilene Independent School District expects to see savings of $860,000 in the first year.
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