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Schools Roundup: Methuen Mass.; Dayton, Ohio; Palo Alto, Calif.; Westfield, NJ

Linda Hardesty

The city of Methuen, Mass., is considering borrowing $3.5 million for 55 energy efficiency improvements at a dozen municipal and school buildings, which would result in $300,000 annual savings, according to the Eagle-Tribune. The work would be performed under an energy services contract with Framingham, Mass.-based Ameresco, which has already conducted energy audits at the City Hall; the police and school headquarters; the central fire station; the water treatment plant; three pump stations; several grammar schools; and the Methuen High School ice rink. The buildings represent just over 875,000 square feet. The facilities require about 14 million kWh of electricity annually.

La-Veta Bauer Elementary School in Dayton, Ohio, has earned the Energy Star certification, scoring better than 91 percent of other similar buildings nationwide. To qualify for the Energy Star certification, a building must earn a 75 or higher on the EPA’s 1-100 energy performance scale. The Miamisburg City School District (of which La-Veta is a part) has been implementing changes to the district’s facilities, including HVAC upgrades, building controls, interior and exterior lighting, and electric procurement to reduce the cost of utilities. The school district is working with Energy Optimizers to implement energy savings measures.

The International School of the Peninsula in Palo Alto, Calif., is working with Carbon Lighthouse to become carbon neutral. The school, which achieved Energy Star Certification in 2012, has now completed a package of energy efficiency upgrades that will reduce its energy use by an additional 12.5 percent. The remainder of the campus’s carbon footprint will be offset through the retirement of carbon allowances through the Carbon Lighthouse Association.

In Westfield, NJ, the Westfield Public School District’s energy conservation program has surpassed $2 million in savings since its inception in July 2007, according to NJ.com. The 30 percent reduction in cost – based on usage prior to the program – is attributed to efficiencies such as improved controls on HVAC as well as a replacement program for boilers and windows. The district also employs two part-time energy managers who monitor the school district’s 11 buildings. The Westfield Public Schools has earned four Energy Star awards.



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