PCS explores energy-saving measures

By Belinda M. Paschal - bpaschal@aimmediamidwest.com

PIQUA — During a special meeting on Tuesday, the Piqua City Schools Board of Education adopted a resolution authorizing the submission to the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission of a request for approval to participate in the School Energy Conservation Financing Program (HB 264).

In keeping with that, the board has selected the energy service company (“ESCO”) Honeywell as the most qualified firm to provide services that would significantly reduce energy consumption in buildings owned by the school district.

ESCOs act as project developers as they integrate a project’s design, financing, installation and operational elements to provide the maximum amount of energy-efficient resources.

Organizations — in this case, the Piqua school district — often turn to ESCOsS because the companies have the extensive design and implementation experience to lessen performance risks. Another benefit of ESCOs is that they can provide a financial guarantee to project lenders that the energy services generated will cover the debt service, i.e., the district will save more than it will spend.

Honeywell created a report for PCS regarding improvements that would conserve energy in the district’s building. Those projects will include:

• Safety and security (stadium, parking/street) — The stadium currently has no backup generator if the electricity goes out.

“This was a safety hazard that we truly needed to address for the safety of our patrons,” PCS Superintendent Dwayne Thompson said. “We will be correcting that while also converting to LED lighting, which will save us 50 percent on utilities.”

• Addressing aging equipment — For example, outdated chillers at Piqua Junior High School are causing a significant lack of efficiency, Thompson noted, adding, “We need to correct this before they go out altogether and to save on our utilities.”

• Optimizing new buildings — This will involve converting the lighting to LED to produce significant electrical savings, as well as saving on labor and replacement costs.

According to Honeywell’s report, the estimate of the total costs of the improvements is not to exceed $2.9 million, including the costs of design, engineering, materials, installation, maintenance, repairs, and other aspects of the project. The report concludes that PCS will save more than $3 million in energy, operational and maintenance costs over a financing period, which will not exceed 15 years.

“We will save far more than we will invest,” Thompson said. “For the first three years, if there is an inaccuracy in the cost savings, Honeywell will write us a check for the difference. At that point, a study should be completed to verify the accuracy of the savings and should be aligned well.”

Thompson said the district also has requested that Honeywell support local businesses by seeking as much local labor as possible for the projects.

By Belinda M. Paschal


Reach Belinda M. Paschal at bpaschal@aimmediamidwest.com or (937) 451-3341

Reach Belinda M. Paschal at bpaschal@aimmediamidwest.com or (937) 451-3341