Energy Efficiency Program = Savings For County Schools
Work has begun on the fifth phase of a multi-year program to improve energy efficiency in Washoe County schools. The Washoe County School District recently reached agreement on a $1.76 million contract with Ameresco, Inc., a leading energy services company, to complete the fifth phase of the program.
“These upgrades are greatly needed, and since the program began in 1999 it has produced nearly $2.5 million in savings on our utility bills,” said Dr. James Hager, Washoe County School superintendent. “Also, using energy more wisely by reducing our electricity needs is good for the environment.”
The current phase of the performance contract began this spring and is expected to wrap up this fall. When this phase is completed, nearly all of the 90 schools and facilities within the district will have undergone efficiency renovations including lighting retrofits, water conservation, boiler replacement, trash management, cooling systems and more.
“Washoe County school leaders’ foresight in spearheading this program will result in annual estimated savings of $859,000 in the school district’s operations and maintenance costs,” said B. N. Tripathi, Ameresco Vice President. “In addition to improving energy efficiency, this multi-phase program has enabled Washoe County to make other much-needed infrastructure upgrades.”
Started in 1999, the school renovation program is partially funded through Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZAB), a U.S. government bond program to help low-income schools pay for building improvements. The county school district qualified for QZAB funding for three of the five performance contracts. Energy savings will repay all other costs.
More than 60,000 children attend the Washoe County Schools.
Ameresco, Inc. is a single-source provider of comprehensive energy solutions. Headquartered in Framingham, MA, the company works with school districts and other customers to reduce their operating expenses, upgrade and maintain facilities and increase energy reliability while enhancing the environment. In 2003, Ameresco acquired e.three, a local energy services company previously owned by Sierra Pacific, which completed the earlier phases of the program.