The School Board of Oakridge Public Schools has officially approved an Energy Savings Performance Contract worth $2,650,000 that will improve the working and learning environments of employees and students. Honeywell, Inc will perform the scope of work under this contract. The project will begin in December of this year and take approximately 9–12 months to complete. The energy savings will be a result of installing LED lighting, occupancy sensors, and building controls. Upgrades to the building envelope and computer power management will also occur. Pipes and other areas in the buildings will receive improved insulation. All new hardware will integrate into an upgraded energy management system.
The project also includes capital replacements like replacing the old steam heating system in the older wings of the Lower Elementary with a new energy-efficient temperature control system. They will also replace air handling units in the Middle School gymnasium and auditorium. The administration building will also have its furnace and temperature control system replaced.
These upgrades, as well as electric rate changes in school buildings, will reduce annual utility costs by roughly 36%. The energy savings will fund the project, so the building improvements will not affect the District’s annual operating budget. By implementing this project, the District expects to receive over $83,000 in utility company rebates.
Superintendent Tom Livezey has a positive outlook, “This performance contract is a no-lose option. Oakridge is guaranteed to recoup our investment through the energy savings the program generates. Honeywell has contractually guaranteed the results through strict measurements of verification. If the savings fall short, they write us a check for the difference.”
This guaranteed energy savings performance contract is just one part of the District’s overall financial strategy to address its facility and programming needs.
Livezey concluded, “We’re demonstrating to our community that we’ve exhausted all efforts to address facility and student program needs before asking the taxpayers for help. Our Bond Proposal would have been close to $18.7 million if we didn’t perform this energy savings performance contract.”
The District has already accepted donations to replace the artificial turf in their stadium and received a $250,000 grant to improve school facility safety. The District has also successfully secured a Federal grant providing free breakfast and lunch to every student K-12 saving families $700 per child per year and another Federal grant worth $1,350,000 to fund upcoming summer and after school programs.
Over the last 20 years, Honeywell has also implemented guaranteed energy savings contracts with many other schools in Michigan.