This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

September 22, 2004

Energy Efficiency Yields Big Savings for Mississippi Schools

Twenty schools in Mississippi are expected to save more than $390,000 in energy costs each year, thanks to energy efficiency improvements recently completed by Chevron Energy Solutions. The improvements included lighting retrofits throughout the Harrison County School District, as well as water conservation retrofits, the installation of digital thermostats in classrooms and a centralized energy management system, and the use of a Web-based information system for remote energy monitoring at each of the 20 schools. The improvements also included new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems at two schools, plus the installation of two new boilers. The Harrison County School District will pay only $2.4 million of the total project cost of $6.4 million, with future energy savings paying the remainder through a financing structure known as an energy savings performance contract (ESPC). See the Chevron Energy Solutions press release.

The federal government also uses ESPCs. DOE's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) estimates that 18 federal agencies and departments in 46 states are using ESPCs to save $4.7 billion in energy costs. About $3.2 billion in energy savings will pay off the investment in the energy efficiency projects, resulting in a net savings of $1.5 billion for the U.S. government. See the FEMP ESPC Web page.

Harrison County, by the way, was one of three coastal counties in Mississippi that faced a threat from Hurricane Ivan. However, the hurricane caused minimal damage in the county, and schools were able to reopen on September 20th. See Governor Haley Barbour's announcement prior to landfall and the reopening announcement on the Harrison County School District Web site.