Chelmsford (MA) School Committee projects energy savings

March 22nd, 2013 | Posted in Blog, Schools | No Comments »

Energy EffficiencyThe School Committee has been updated about the district’s 20-year service contract with Johnson Controls, an energy company expected to generate Chelmsford $483,317 in total cost savings.

Introducing the presentation Tuesday night was Department of Public Works Director Gary Persichetti, who informed committee members that Johnson Controls was able to address all capital items, as set forth by the Energy Conservation Commission.

“We’ve been working on the project for three months and our engineering is complete. And I’m here this evening to share the results of the engineering study,” said Johnson Controls General Manager Jim Cotton.

The district selected Johnson Controls in September. Cotton took members through a presentation on the $13,895,404 project’s timeline, the school building energy baseline, energy conservation measures, and projected cost and energy savings.

Performance contracts, passed in Massachusetts General Law in 2006, involves energy efficiency projects through building improvements done by reinvesting the energy cost savings produced, with guaranteed savings.

Upgrades to the district’s nine facilities, totaling 805,475 square-feet, will fall under its existing $1.27 million annual utility budget. There will be a 38 percent reduction with new equipment and solar panel added renewable generation. According to Cotton, about 40 communities in the state have entered into similar contracts.

“We target things like boilers, air conditioning units, lighting for retrofit using T5 lamps, which will reduce your overall energy spend in any given year… If we are contractually obligated to save $480,000 in this instance and we don’t, we write you a check for the difference,” noted Cotton, who said annual major savings are based on federal guidelines.

According to Cotton, the district’s $1.27 million invested is predicted to grow about 5 percent each year, between natural gas and electricity. The total baseline energy use for utility spent includes electricity, at $801,697 and $465,070 in gas spends.

“My engineers went through each of your facilities, looked at all the plans and developed retrofit projects for each of the facilities,” said Cotton, while displaying a list of energy conservation measures, amounting to 81 individual projects, involving facility lighting and weatherization.

Capital improvements, along with facility and comfort upgrades, were addressed. In addition to energy management systems in all nine buildings, the contract also involves replacing 207 unit ventilators, a chiller replacement at Center Elementary and a steam to hot water conversion at Parker Middle School.

“They are learning environment issues,” said Cotton, before covering renewable energy though solar panels to be situated on racks on the roofs at eight of the facilities.


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