Little Rock, AR. The Community Advisory Board Committee received a report at their July 23rd meeting regarding the results of their 2018 energy savings project initiative at the District. The project was funded by an Energy Performance Contract, an Arkansas financing mechanism used to pay for energy efficiency improvements through annual energy savings.

Facility targeted improvements resulted in $754,933 in annual energy savings in the first year of operation, or approximately 40.7% more than projected—far exceeding expectations. The energy initiative was originally projected to save $536,596 in the first year after project completion. The project was designed and constructed by Performance Services, who also helped secure $885,840 in utility incentives and rebates for the project.

“The money we save allows us to invest back into the LRSD, which is critically important at a time when districts are having to leverage resources to best meet educational needs during the current pandemic,” said LRSD Superintendent Mike Poore.

The energy efficiency project, which began in May 2017, entailed the replacement of exterior lighting with LED high efficiency lighting district-wide, and significant equipment and controls upgrades at six LSRD facilities including historic Central High School, Parkview High School, Dunbar Middle School, Rockefeller, Washington, and Stephens Elementary School. The targeted upgrades involved the replacement of old and inefficient HVAC equipment, interior lighting upgrades, and weatherization improvements.

“All of the equipment we selected to put into these buildings have a long-life expectancy and are very energy efficient. Operated properly, we will get a long life, including the LED lighting, so we expect lower operating costs. For example, at Central High we replaced a boiler that was built in 1948 so there was a lot of maintenance involved just to keep it working,” said Kevin Yarberry, Director of Maintenance and Operations. “We still have a lot of opportunity for energy upgrades in the district to meet our goals. With this project, we are on track to exceed our goals and return on investment.”

The facility upgrades were supplemented by LRSD’s participation in an Energy Leadership Program, a behavior-based offering unique to PSI which serves to mentor staff on equipment controls and optimized building scheduling techniques, and engage students on integrating energy efficient habits into daily routines. Implementing PSI’s Energy Leadership Program is an ‘extra step’ school districts can take to integrate energy and water conservation into the overall management of their facilities and illustrates the district’s commitment to a sustainable future.

LRSD’s First Year Energy Savings Stats and Equivalents

  • 8,119,553 kWh in electricity savings
  • 195,924 therms in natural gas savings
  • 44.6% reduction in energy intensity
  • 6,751 metric tons of CO2 reduced from the district’s carbon footprint, equivalent to removing 1,464 passenger vehicles from the road for one year

Little Rock School District is the second largest school district in the state of Arkansas serving more than 23,000 students.