Framingham, Mass., August 21, 2012 — Ameresco, Inc., an energy efficiency and renewable energy company, started work with Ovid-Elsie Area Schools in central Michigan. The $1.1 million contract is expected to save the schools more than $85,000 annually, and includes facility improvements at all of the schools' locations.
Located in the middle of the state between Grand Rapids and Detroit, the Ovid-Elsie Area Schools serves 1,700 students. The comprehensive energy project includes upgrades to four schools and the administration building. Ovid-Elsie Area Schools include the Leonard Elementary School, E. Knight Elementary School, Ovid-Elsie Middle School, and Ovid-Elsie High School.
To finance this project, Ovid-Elsie Area Schools took advantage of Qualified Zone Academy Bonds, which provide the Schools with a near-zero percent interest rate. Under an ESPC, Ameresco guarantees the energy cost savings for the duration of the contract which will repay the upfront costs with a portion of their projected annual savings over the contract's 15 years.
· Comprehensive lighting program — the installation of a lighting system to replace or upgrade about 370 existing fixtures;
· Energy management system — the integration of the latest and industry-leading automation program for energy and environment management;
· Mechanical and HVAC replacements — the replacement of boilers with new high efficiency boilers;
· Building improvements — insulation improvements to reduce energy costs across all of the schools' facilities;
· Water conservation upgrades — the installation of a plumbing system to reduce water consumption, wastewater production, and hot water energy use;
· New ceiling grid — lower ceilings in the middle school to reduce the echo, improve lighting, and provide energy savings due to less space to heat.
As part of the project, Ameresco will also provide energy awareness training to help Ovid-Elsie Area Schools develop campus-wide energy and sustainability standards. The company will work with the schools to promote energy efficiency strategies and raise awareness of energy efficient behaviors.
Ameresco has a long history of partnering with schools, municipalities, and commercial entities to improve asset sustainability, upgrade energy infrastructure, and install renewable energy technologies. Their pioneering of the ESPC financing model has made the budget-neutral solution an increasingly popular option for customers in Michigan and across North America.