Board of Education hears about energy consumption in schools across system

Published 4:33 pm Friday, July 21, 2017

Thursday night, ABM Building and Energy Consumption presented what their program would consist of and how it would benefit Decatur County to the Board of Education at their work session.

Two sales representatives, Ray Jordan and Don McPherson, were there to explain how the Fortune 500 company was different from any competitor. ABM offers bundled energy solutions to school systems across the country. They understand education and understand that it “costs more to operate next year than today, even if nothing changes.”

After observing the various campus layouts, the men presented the BOE with their findings and a project overview.

“The district has done a commendable job in attempting to meet its infrastructure needs, but has significant HVAC equipment needs throughout particularly the older campuses,” Jordan said.

Jordan presented them with ideas of savings generators such as, lighting, controls, water conservation, electrical distribution, building envelope upgrades, Dyson hand dryers and possible IT Power management. For lighting, he suggested upgrading to high efficiency LEDs and adding occupancy sensors. He suggested installing a system to control humidity in classrooms along with investigating a demand control ventilation system using CO2 monitoring. When appropriate, he also suggested exploring daylight harvesting technology.

Superintendent Tim Cochran said he wasn’t surprised at all by their findings. This is just the first of many avenues they plan to explore in ways to improve.

With the plan ABM proposed, the school system would save over $430,000 in savings annually and would allow for a possible self-funding program of $6.6 million. If selected, energy savings would pay a portion of the updates necessary and the rest of the cost would be through an operational lease. ABM hopes to have the BOE’s approval of their selected firm by September 21, so they can begin the process.