Ameresco Partners with US Schools for Energy Savings Performance Contracts

Ameresco, a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company, and the Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) announced today they are partnering on a comprehensive $14.8 million Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) to improve buildings and increase operational efficiency. The infrastructure upgrades are expected to deliver greater energy efficiency and operational cost savings, enhance comfort for building occupants, reduce greenhouse gasses and emissions, and demonstrate the Schools’ ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship.

This newly announced ESPC is a second-round contract with Ameresco. NNPS originally partnered with Ameresco on a 12-year term ESPC in 2003. NNPS used the performance contract as a framework for a focused energy conservation strategy that continues to lead their strong commitment to energy efficiency today.

“This comprehensive project reflects our commitment to energy conservation, including reducing our operating costs and achieving our sustainability goals,” said Keith Webb, Executive Director of Plant Services, NNPS. “Our contract with Ameresco allows us to replace our aging infrastructure, upgrade our buildings and make improvements, during a time when the school division’s capital improvement funding is flat. The project includes efficiency measures that will deliver $1,048,853 in annual energy savings, benefiting the schools and local community for years to come.”

The ESPC project includes upgrades that will be implemented in 50 buildings comprised of approximately 4.3 million square feet. At Riverside and Sedgefield Elementary Schools, the heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems will be completely replaced and upgraded to a high efficiency water source heat pump system to provide both heating and cooling. In addition, Deer Park Elementary School will benefit from a complete boiler plant renovation. Some of the energy savings measures under this ESPC include: updated exterior lighting systems, LED technology and controls; energy management systems (EMS) upgrades; bi-polar ionization and demand control ventilation (DCV); building envelope improvements; domestic water conservation; HVAC system renovations; boiler and chiller replacements; and other stringent energy control measures.

“Ameresco is proud to have been selected by Newport News to perform a second energy performance contract,” said Michael Daigneault, Vice President, Ameresco. “With the energy efficiency upgrades implemented by Ameresco under the first contract, and the day-to-day management and commitment to efficiency managed by the Newport News Public Schools’ staff, the partnership and our combined persistence have resulted in a great success story which we expect to be ongoing throughout this next project.

Over the past few years, NNPS has received a number of environmental designations for individual schools demonstrating their leadership in energy saving measures and practices to optimize energy efficiency. Daigneault continued, “Working with NNPS to identify and institute operational efficiencies and energy conservation measures that pay for themselves through the resulting savings, and are budget-neutral to the schools has been particularly rewarding.”

The environmental benefits from this project include the reduction of more than 10 million pounds of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to eliminating 878 passenger vehicles from the road annually, saving enough electricity to power 668 homes each year, or the equivalent of planting 1090 acres of pine forest annually.

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