Ameresco Partners with Northeastern Wisconsin School District to Reduce Energy Consumption and Enhance Student Quality of Life
$2.7 million Energy Savings Performance Contract expected to help reduce Oconto Falls School District’s energy use by 23 percent
FRAMINGHAM, MA, and OCONTO FALLS, WI – December 4, 2012 – Ameresco, Inc., (NYSE:AMRC), a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company, announced today that it has signed an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) with Oconto Falls School District in northeastern Wisconsin. The $2.7 million ESPC is expected to save the District over $137,000 in energy and avoided operational costs annually through energy efficiency and infrastructure upgrades at eight facilities.
Located just north of Green Bay, Wisconsin, the District includes six schools and two district facilities. The Oconto Falls schools that will be upgraded include Abrams Elementary School, Oconto Falls Elementary School, Washington Middle School, New Path Charter School, the Falls Alternative Learning Site (FALS), and Oconto Falls High School. Energy and operational upgrades will also be performed at the District Office and the District’s bus garage.
“Opportunities to complete facility upgrades have all but disappeared with the recent reduction in state funding. As a result, we invited Ameresco into our facilities to identify savings opportunities when we realized there may be additional opportunities to further improve our operating systems,” said David Polashek, Superintendent of Oconto Falls School District. “Ameresco has worked closely with our staff in developing a project that will reduce energy consumption while improving the daily learning environments for students and teachers alike. We were impressed with the creativity used to design this project which used savings from avoided energy and maintenance costs, rather than tap the District's capital fund to implement necessary building improvements. An ESPC project with Ameresco makes this all possible.”
The ESPC is expected to help reduce the District’s energy use by over 23 percent through the duration of the 20-year contract via upgrades that include lighting controls, water conservation retrofits, buildings envelope enhancements, boiler plant upgrades, and domestic water heater replacement. In addition to the energy savings facility improvement measures, the District will receive future capital avoidance savings for a roof section replacement. Under an ESPC, Ameresco guarantees the energy cost savings for the duration of the contract. A portion of the projected savings are expected to repay the upfront costs allowing Oconto Falls School District to take a practical approach to reduce its energy consumption while working towards achieving sustainability goals.
With guidance from the District’s financial consultant, the debt financing for the energy project was completed simultaneously with a refinancing of other District debt obligations that lowered the interest rate and reduced the annual interest cost. The combined payment plan allowed the District to reduce the current tax levy for debt.
“We are thrilled to assist Oconto Falls in moving forward to squeeze and redirect every dollar possible back into their learning environment to fill the gap left by current state funding program changes,” said Louis P. Maltezos, Executive Vice President, Ameresco. “The bottom line is that the District’s use of the State ESPC vehicle allows for Ameresco’s budget neutral approach to both reduce their energy consumption and upgrade their facilities.”
As part of the ESPC, Ameresco will handle design, construction, commissioning, project management and measurement, and verification. The District will enjoy guaranteed energy savings and significant infrastructure upgrades, improving the facilities’ efficiency and students’ comfort. Ameresco has a long history of partnering with schools, municipalities and non-commercial entities to improve energy infrastructure and install energy efficient technologies. The Ameresco team pioneered the ESPC financing model, making the budget-neutral solution an increasingly popular option when modernizing a single facility or providing a comprehensive campus-wide energy management system for customers across North America.
About Ameresco, Inc.
Founded in 2000, Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE:AMRC) is a leading independent provider of comprehensive services, energy efficiency, infrastructure upgrades, asset sustainability and renewable energy solutions for facilities throughout North America. Ameresco’s services include upgrades to a facility’s energy infrastructure and the development, construction and operation of renewable energy plants. Ameresco has successfully completed energy saving, environmentally responsible projects with federal, state and local governments, healthcare and educational institutions, housing authorities, and commercial and industrial customers. With its corporate headquarters in Framingham, MA, Ameresco provides local expertise through its 63 offices in 34 states and five Canadian provinces. Ameresco has more than 900 employees. For more information, visit www.ameresco.com.
About Oconto Falls School District
Oconto Falls serves approximately 1,875 students and is located just north of historic Green Bay, WI. Oconto Falls School District has identified itself as one of the leaders in northeast Wisconsin. The Oconto Falls Schools have produced numerous state champion athletes and teams, The District has also received recognition for its FFA program and for their students of Fine Arts. Recently, Mrs. JoAnn Miller, an Educator at the Oconto Falls High School, received the distinction and award for the 2012 Wisconsin High School Teacher of the Year and will be Wisconsin's representative in the National Teacher of the Year selection process.