Covington, KY. Since completing its energy savings project three years ago, Covington Independent Public Schools has saved over $818,000 in utility costs. The district’s project included: renovating building systems, converting its interior and exterior lights to LED high-efficiency lighting, and installing solar panels at two schools.
Billed energy use has been dramatically reduced by 41.6 percent for 2020-21. Recent electric utility rate increases have impacted the value of the energy efficiency project positively, with cost avoidance from implementing the project amounting to $585,082 during the most recent measurement year of July 2020 to June 2021. Performance Services, the provider for the project, presented its findings to the Covington Board of Education on September 23, 2021.
“We are watchful agents of taxpayer money,’’ said Superintendent Alvin Garrison. “This project continues to provide significant financial benefits and shows that we are willing to implement cost-saving projects to ensure that more resources reach the classrooms to meet our student needs.’’
When Performance Services completed Covington’s project in October 2017, it guaranteed that the district would see an annual energy savings of $222,939. According to Mike Lindsey, Performance Assurance and Energy Leadership Manager for Performance Services, measured and verified savings for the current year 2019-2020 was $273,654, exceeding the guarantee by 22.7 percent.
The combined solar arrays produced 479,450 kilowatt-hours in 2020-21, equivalent to powering 45 homes with electricity for one year. As reported earlier, accomplishing the rooftop arrays at John G. Carlisle Elementary School and the Chapman Education Center on the Holmes High School campus was made possible through a net metering agreement with Duke Energy.
After extensive research, Covington entered the Guaranteed Energy Savings Contract with Performance Services to find a highly qualified provider for designing and implementing the district energy efficiency project. The project meets the energy and efficiency needs of Covington’s Facility Plan. It resulted in much-needed improvements to all buildings throughout the school district, including an improved learning environment for students, enhanced maintenance, and operations of facilities, and measured and verified energy savings reports. Covington is one of the largest independent school districts in Kentucky, serving approximately 3,800 students.