Energy improvement audit presented at special school board meeting

By DAVID A. WILSON

Democrat Staff

Schneider Electric presented a preliminary audit report at a special Moniteau County R-I School Board meeting Wednesday, April 3.

Peter Hinkle and Drew Sebelius explained the proposed Energy Service Performance Contract (ESPC) to the board and answered questions about benefits and drawbacks.

Such a contract is usually done in publicly-owned facilities, such as federal, state and city buildings and schools.

The audit checks out energy savings oportunities, designs improvements to take advantage of those savings, and works to "leverage" energy savings as a payment on financing, lowering utility bills through improvements.

The audit by Schneider indicated all three main school facilities could benefit from lighting changing and lighting controls (including replacment of the magnetic ballasts for the fluorescent lights with electronic ballasts). The middle school building and the high school gym would benefit with lower energy costs from changes in the heating and cooling systems.

In general, the way a performance contract works is that the school or other entity pays for the work done with a guarantee of a certain dollar amount of energy savings. If the savings fails to be high enough to meet the given amount, the company makes up the difference. At the same time, the company makes adjustments at the facility to make the savings match the guaranteed amount.

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