Overseeing campus facilities and maintaining them is a significant concern for higher education institutions. And often, such a challenge can get out of hand—especially when you fail to secure adequate financing to match the need.
Subsequently, it’s encouraging for colleges and universities to know that Ohio’s House Bill 7 (HB7) takes the necessary steps to provide for a funding mechanism. Under the provisions, these institutions can undertake facility upgrades and finance the project through energy savings over a span of 20 years.
By leveraging on the support of this legislation, colleges and universities can substantially keep costs at an arms-length while equally improving campus facilities.
How Can You Participate?
Let’s take a look at the MUST-HAVES to qualify for the program.
- Campus ought to be over 5000 square feet
- HVAC system
- Projected construction costs exceeding $500,000
- Minimum of LEED Silver Certification through USGBC
- At least Two Green Globes Certification from GGE, or;
- Another design standard approved by the Director of Administrative Services
In addition, by the completion time of the project, your institution must comply with one of two energy efficiency codes:
1) Exceed current ASHRAE efficiency benchmarks by a minimum of 30%, or;
2) Attain a national energy performance rating above 77 in accordance with EPA’s Energy Star ratings and as collaborated by a professional engineer.
What is the SPC?
What do you need to know about HB-264 K-12 School Energy Performance Contracting? This law allows school districts to make pertinent remodeling of their structures and utilize the cost savings to cover for the improvements—as such, districts can finance without the concern of passing a ballot issue in pursuit of the authority to borrow.
The SPC program references “energy conservation measures” as any installation, modification, or remodeling of an existing campus building aiming at reducing energy consumption.
What types of modifications does the program cover?
- Building Insulation
- Installation of storm windows and doors
- Upgrading or replacing the HVAC system
- Set-up of new energy control systems
- Replacements of prevailing lighting systems
- Caulking or weather stripping
How Does this Program Benefit Your Projects?
For purposes of clarity, the payment dues for these energy-saving installations emanate from the savings accruing from the systems over time. So, in essence, the state is financing your equipment and project. And as such, your school district makes sizable improvements to buildings with pretty much no up-front cost.
How Do You Get Started Financing Your Energy Projects?
To begin with, the institution’s board must engage a licensed architect, engineer, or accomplished energy conservation firm such as Energy Optimizers, to develop a report detailing analysis and propositions of energy conservation measures. Fundamentally, these initiatives must significantly make cuts on energy consumption and operating costs.
Equally important, the report details the financing and costs attached to such actions. Moreover, it projects how much the above-mentioned costs will reduce. This approach takes into consideration the energy consumption for no less than one year. Else, the energy conservation measures ought to save in energy, operational, plus maintenance expenditures over 15 years—an equivalent sum or amount exceeding the total outlay of implementation.
Duly, the school board should produce a “school energy proposal” and then present the script for review to the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC). Once the documents get approval, the work commences. Besides the ongoing work documented in the proposal, K-12 school districts in the program must avail yearly savings reports to the OFCC.
Are you looking for a personalized service that will enable you to develop a project tailored to your needs? At Energy Optimizers, USA, we take extra steps to reduce project costs—leveraging on local vendors, your staff, plus our proficiency. This approach to service makes us an excellent match for your project. We’re here to help. Contact us today.
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