Wisconsin Schools Use Energy Savings Guarantees
A change in Wisconsin state law that allows school districts to borrow outside of their revenue caps for energy efficiency projects is helping budget-strapped schools to make facility improvements while increasing their energy efficiency at the same time, according to an article in the Fon du Lac Reporter.
Facility maintenance is often the first thing cut from a school district’s budget when money gets tight, the article explains. Rather than allowing the infrastructure to crumble, schools are employing the expertise of energy-efficiency consultants to recommend facility updates such as window replacements, exterior lighting upgrades, updated heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and technology upgrades.
As long as the potential energy savings would pay for the cost of a proposed project, schools can use the revenue exemption. If a project would produce more in energy savings than it would cost, the school might be able to get additional maintenance work done at the same time.
Not surprisingly, the number of companies offering energy-efficiency consultation services in the state has increased significantly. Companies must be certified to provide services to school districts, and they must guarantee energy savings to the districts or pay the difference.
Schneider Electric will be conducting a district-wide audit of the facilities in the Marshfield School District. Auburndale has received bids from several companies offering the same type of consulting services.
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