October 22, 2018
School board commissions major energy savings audit
School officials hope system upgrades can save millions over 15 years through lower energy costs.
Energy Savings Project
• What: Replacing or upgrading equipment in school buildings to improve energy conservation.
• Where: 20 Fauquier County Public Schools.
• Consultant: ABM, a global energy savings contractor with offices in Alexandria and Ashburn.
• Cost: Possibly $12 million over 15 years, funded through debt.
• Next steps: After the building audit, school and county government staff will review the consultant suggestions and select projects at schools.
Fauquier public schools soon could get much needed heating, cooling and lighting upgrades.
The school board on Oct. 17 voted unanimously to sign an agreement with ABM, a global contractor with offices in Alexandria, to conduct a large-scale energy savings audit.
> Document at bottom of story
Conducted over the next three months, the audit will include equipment inspections and consultation on potential energy and water savings projects at each of Fauquier’s 20 public schools.
School and county government staff members will evaluate the suggestions and select projects, based on energy savings and student safety.
Then, the school system would contract with ABM to upgrade or replace equipment, such as heating, cooling and electrical systems, lighting and roofs and windows.
Costly repairs that already rank as high priorities include heating and air conditioning systems at Fauquier and Liberty high schools and Mary Walter Elementary near Morrisville.
Under the project, the school system would potentially borrow $12 million to pay for the debt over 15 years. Taking on that debt would require county board of supervisors’ approval.
Updated equipment would lower energy costs and, in turn pay, for the improvements. The project also comes with a guaranteed savings from the contractor.
But, the exact cost for the project has yet to be determined. The contract would fix ABM’s overhead costs at 12 percent of any job and its profit at 9 percent.
The audit will cost about $185,000 and will be included in the total project costs.
In 2017-18, the school system spent $2.9 million on utilities.
The school system in the past has worked to cut energy costs. From 2009 to 2012, the school system improved energy efficiency with updated lighting and the installation of controls to minimize heating and air-conditioning empty buildings.
The school system’s total energy costs of $3.3 million for buildings in fiscal 2009 dropped to $2.9 million in 2012.
FINAL ABM and Fauquier County Public Schools energy study agreement by Fauquier Now on Scribd
Fauquier Schools ESCO Power... by on Scribd
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