Cash strapped public schools throughout the United States educate millions of students annually on shoe-string budgets. Every penny that can be is earmarked for student programs. This means that there's little left for anything else — like upgrading facilities. Unfortunately, 53% of U.S. schools need to make infrastructure upgrades just to provide 'good' conditions for students and staff, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
Energy costs are second only to salaries in many school districts. The Department of Energy reports that smarter energy management can cut energy costs for K-12 schools by 25%. Those savings could be used to where they're most needed: teacher pay and student programs.
School districts want to do what they do best: prepare generations of children to be successful in life -- but that's tough to do with failing energy systems. The vast majority of U.S. schools understand that improving energy efficiency and sustainability will have lasting benefits for their students, their communities, and the environment. But, while boosting energy efficiency and improving learning environments is clearly a key goal, many school districts lack both the funds and expertise required to implement needed facility upgrades.
So what's the solution?
Energy Performance Contracting (EPC). An EPC is a solutions-driven agreement between a school district and an energy services company (ESCO) to identify, design, and install energy-related infrastructure upgrades. Most importantly, an EPC provides an innovative financing option that allows school districts to use the cost savings achieved through infrastructure upgrades to repay the cost of installing those measures. No upfront capital is required. Energy savings are guaranteed by the ESCO that designed and implemented the project. If the savings don't hit the mark, the ESCO must make up the difference, removing any risk to a district using an Energy Performance Contract to upgrade school facilities.
The immediate benefits of using an EPC include:
1. Budget Boost:
2. Simplified Procurement:
3. Reduced maintenance expenditures:
Additional benefits of upgrading school facilities include:
4. Increased productivity and performance
5. Improved occupant comfort and health
6. Increase security and safety
The most effective way to reduce school district energy costs is to use an EPC to implement a portfolio-wide approach -- upgrading facilities in all district buildings.