Improving A Pennsylvania School District’s Energy Infrastructure
Reduction in school districts’ general operating budgets is an ongoing challenge. This budgetary pressure has caused an exponential increase in deferred maintenance within building systems and infrastructure that has led to an increase in energy consumption, maintenance and emergency repair expenditures.
A prime example of this challenge is Ligonier Valley, located about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh. The school district has many facilities that could benefit from an energy efficiency initiative focusing on areas of deferred maintenance via technology and infrastructure upgrades. The district searched for a solution that would reduce energy consumption and proactively address deferred maintenance while in-turn optimizing the learning environment for its students.
The school district selected Constellation to conduct a comprehensive investment grade audit to develop a project around equipment and systems that were at or beyond life cycle and operating less efficiently compared to new technologies. The results identified a substantial list of Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs), along with all installation costs and anticipated energy and operational savings.
Once the final series of ECMs was selected, Constellation worked closely with the Ligonier Valley administrators, the school board and financial advisors to identify a plan to fund the measures in accordance with the district’s long-term budget plan leveraging the PA Guaranteed Energy Savings Act. Based on the project scope, the district utilized $3.8 million in qualified energy conservation bonds in tandem with $10 million in green bond financing – funds for projects that have a positive environmental benefit – to fund the majority of the project. The balance of the project will be funded by Federally Taxable Bonds.
Constellation will implement the following district-wide upgrades:
- LED lighting
- Water conservation measures
- Building envelope measures
- State-of-the-art building automation systems
- Access control systems and security vestibules.
- New roofs
- High-efficiency heating systems
- Geothermal loop enhancements
- Air-cooled chiller along with unit ventilators in classrooms that will provide heating and cooling capabilities
- High-efficiency boiler plant and a chilled water plant
If you have similar issues to Ligonier Valley, including a backlog of deferred maintenance and budget reductions, and you’re seeking options to optimize your learning environment, contact Constellation to learn more about a budget neutral approach to address energy-based infrastructure enhancements.
Guest Author: Mitch Dexter – Senior Technology Sales Manager with Constellation’s Distributed Energy group