SCSD Awarded Grant for Energy Efficiency Projects

SCSD Awarded Grant for Energy Efficiency Projects
Posted on 10/16/2017

The list of projects that will improve the energy efficiencies of the buildings in the Stevenson-Carson School District is long, but the grant awarded to the district is large.  How large?  $350,000!

SCSD was awarded $350,000 by the Washington State Department of Commerce in May, specifically to complete “energy efficient projects.” If that award isn’t sweet enough, there are $25,000 of utility incentives to go with the grant award.  This left the district only about 40% of the costs ($255,000) of the entire package.  Fortunately, the district was able to have this grant award “put on hold” until the outcome of the August Levy as that local funding support was needed to move this project forward.  With the certification of the levy, the district accepted the grant, and the three-year energy project began!

Sunset Air was contracted by the district in 2016 to perform an energy audit for the district facilities, provide recommendations to improve energy efficiencies and assist in finding resources to help with the cost of the project.  They compiled data for each building from sensors, utility bills and observations to identify 19 possible projects.  Some of these projects would not show a payback in efficiency for over 100 years.  The district facilities committee narrowed down the list to 14 projects, all that will have a payback in 10 years or less, with a savings of over $30,000 annually.

The project is being administered through the Washington State Department of Enterprise Service’s (DES) Energy Savings Performance Contracting process.  The Department of Enterprise Services is the project manager, and the next step is to complete the identified construction upgrades.  After those upgrades are complete, Sunset Air Inc. will monitor the energy usage and costs for two full years.  If the monitoring does not show the guaranteed savings Sunset Air Inc. will make additional improvements at their expense or cover the difference of their projected energy savings.  The paybacks projected are guaranteed, one way or the other.

A sampling of the projects:  (1) reconditioning all the control systems in the building to make sure everything is working properly, (2) installing CO2 demand controlled ventilation in three buildings, (3) update boiler controls – ensure proper communication and optimum operation with the control system, (4) replace exterior lighting with LED photocell controlled fixtures, and (5) install a new control unit at the Wind River Educational Center. The new control unit at the WREC is the most expensive item at $169,000 with a payback of only ten years, $17,000/year in savings.

Mr. Howe, Carson Elementary Principal and SCSD Facility Committee Chair was instrumental in kicking off this project and leading it to this point.  He and the newly hired Grounds and Maintenance Supervisor, Ed Farrell, will oversee the project as it moves forward.