Tecumseh school energy program saves more than $80,000

Tecumseh Local Schools reduced its energy use and cut costs by more than $80,000, according to a district report released this week.

“The Tecumseh Local Schools board and administration are committed to ensuring that the taxpayers’ investment in education is managed wisely, so when we learned about the ‘On Board’ opportunity, we knew it was something we should look into,” Tecumseh Treasurer Debra Schock said.

The district saved $83,215 in the past year, she said.

“ … We also have captured an 850 percent return on the investment in the program during the first year,” Shock said.

On Board is a program offered by the Southwestern Ohio Educational Purchasing Council, Waibel Energy Systems and Dayton Power and Light. During the first phase of the program, a study identified districts that could benefit from an Energy Savings Agreement with Waibel. In the second phase, districts implemented energy conservation measures to reduce energy consumption without affecting comfort in the buildings.

“A significant source of energy use in Tecumseh Schools is air handling units,” said Joe Zimmerman, controls and integration leader at Waibel.

The program enabled the air handling units to better match airflow demands and, as a result, slow their fan speed. Additionally, Waibel implemented programming for the air handling units that prevented simultaneous heating and cooling, which Zimmerman called “a significant inefficiency.”

Electric and natural gas use was reduced from July 2014 to October 2015. That reduced the bill by more than $80,000 over the course of the year and made the district eligible for $15,000 in rebates from DP&L, an incentive the energy company offered to encourage districts to participate.

The district invested about $10,000 toward the agreement and saved more than four times the guaranteed amount of $20,000 in the initial agreement, the report said.

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