Energy Upgrades to Save Pueblo City Schools D60 More Than $14M
PUEBLO, CO Pueblo City Schools D60, in partnership with McKinstry, has begun implementing energy savings measures that will save the district more than $14 million through energy and operational savings over the next 20 years. The project will pay for itself through reduced utility and operational costs and will improve the educational environment for students, teachers, and staff.
Significant infrastructure needs at several schools were negatively impacting classroom environments, but tight budgets made paying for a major overhaul a challenge. The district decided to move forward with an energy services company (ESCO) who would identify energy savings opportunities, perform the work and then guarantee the energy savings.
In November 2014, the district awarded a contract to McKinstry to audit 10 of the 39 district facilities for opportunities to save energy. On May 28, the Board of Education approved a $10.4 million project that includes boiler replacements, LED lighting retrofits, installation of solar photovoltaic arrays at two schools, heating and cooling unit replacements, and building control system upgrades.
The district utilized a portion of their renewable energy and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) grant from the U.S. Department of Education to add the solar arrays at two of their STEM schools, which will provide real-world learning opportunities for their students and staff. This opportunity was combined with $660,000 in anticipated utility rebates from Black Hills Energy and a million dollar capital investment from the district. The rest of the project will be funded by the reduced energy and operating costs.
Along with the cost savings, building improvements will enhance the overall learning environment for both students and faculty. Classrooms will heat and cool more evenly, ventilation will be improved in certain areas, the light quality will be improved, equipment will break down much less frequently, and students will be engaged in energy efficiency through the adoption of behavioral changes in the classroom with McKinstry's powerED program.
McKinstry's powerED is a behavior-focused energy awareness and operational efficiency program. The program will be rolled out initially in the four STEM Magnet schools: Central High School, Roncalli STEM Academy, Bessemer Academy, and Highland Park Elementary School. McKinstry's powerED program uses a highly collaborative approach to focus on people, process, and performance. The people component educates building occupants about the importance of energy efficiency and environmental impacts; the process component identifies and implements low- and no-cost operational and maintenance strategies to reduce energy use; and the performance component tracks, measures, analyze, and quantifies energy savings and carbon reductions to pinpoint opportunities, communicate performance, and promote success.
Future phases will integrate energy efficiency and capital upgrades in the remaining 29 district facilities over the next two to three years.