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Energy Efficiency Saves Ohio School District $500K

October 24, 2014 By Karen Henry

energy-conservation-energy manageThe Medina City School District in Ohio has saved more than $500,000 so far this year—or 43 percent over last year—due to its energy conservation program, reports. The school district took advantage of Ohio House Bill 264, which allows school districts to borrow a limited amount of money for energy efficiency improvements without having to pass a ballot issue. The school district will use its cost savings to repay the loan.

Looking to make improvements that would pay for themselves in 10 years or less, the district installed automated lighting and heating controls and demand control ventilation. It made building automation system upgrades, modified heat recovery and pool systems, and installed vending machine controls. It also began harvesting daylight and conserving water.

One area high school has switched from fluorescent to high-efficiency lighting and installed a cogeneration unit. Installed by energy conservation company Brewer-Garrett, the CHP unit will offset more than 1 million kW of purchased electricity a year, saving an estimated $82,944. It will also recover combustion heat and exhaust at a rate of 747,000 Btu per hour, which will be used to heat the Medina Community Recreation Center’s two pools and spa.

Brewer-Garrett helped to develop the district’s energy savings and payback program. The program includes an energy conservation policy that outlines goals and procedures for everything from regulating classroom temperatures to limiting the use of individual beverage makers and hot plates.

Through a contract with EnerNOC, the school district is asked to cut back on its energy use when the area’s power grid is being stretched. In return, EnerNOC reimburses the district for the cost savings, up to $143,944 over six years. In 2014, the district received more than $20,000 through the agreement.

The district is also exploring the prospect of buying electricity and natural gas through a consortium of about 100 school districts.

Last year, Ohio’s Clinton-Massie Local School District implemented an energy conservation project by using funding mechanisms made possible through Ohio House Bill 264.

Image via Shutterstock.

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