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According to Honeywell, Southwest Licking, which serves residents of Etna, Kirkersville, and Pataskala, Ohio, is one of only 100 school districts in the United States to achieve this distinction. Its selection was based on three criteria: excellence in environmental conservation; commitment to raising environmental awareness in the community; and promotion of a renewable energy curriculum in the classroom.
In recent months, the district's five schools have completed the second phase of a Honeywell energy services program, including solar panel installation, mechanical and HVAC system upgrades, and energy awareness training for students and staff. The program also included significant contributions from The Foundation for Environmental Education, Ohio Department of Development's Office of Energy Efficiency, and Ohio Energy Project.
"Promoting environmental stewardship while being fiscally responsible is a challenge for every school," said Forest Yocum, superintendent of Southwest Licking Schools. "With the help of Honeywell and our other partners, we're able to excel at both."
As an EnergySmart Schools recipient, school officials will receive assistance from the U.S. Department of Energy's Rebuild America program, which is dedicated to educating schools about smart energy use. Southwest Licking will now have access to a network of professionals who can give advice on facility improvement issues to further reduce energy usage and operating costs.
Like many Ohio schools, Southwest Licking took advantage of House Bill 264 to launch the project. This bill allows schools to implement a performance contract with a vendor to create capital and pay for school improvements over 15 years with guaranteed savings. With this type of contract in place, Honeywell reviewed the school district's expenditures and determined where new, energy-efficient technologies should be applied.
To date, Honeywell has helped Southwest Licking cut energy consumption and expenses through improvements like HVAC system upgrades, water conservation, temperature and automation control upgrades, and weather sealing. The program will also enhance the current learning environment through lighting upgrades and conversion from electric to hot water heating, which costs less to operate. Additional measures include window replacement, roof repair, and the installation of a photovoltaic solar panel at the middle school.
Due to the performance contracting program, no new tax dollars were required to pay for the $1.6 million implementation. Funding for the project will come from the projected savings - $178,000 annually - that will stem from the upgrades. The net result, says Honeywell, will be a 32.9 percent reduction in utilities for a self-funded program that will ultimately provide a positive cash flow for the district.
"As a leader in the education market for the past 50 years, Honeywell is proud to help school districts like Southwest Licking create safe, comfortable learning environments," said Laura Schultz, vice president of Global Marketing for Honeywell Building Solutions. "Honeywell is providing the tools to help school administrators focus less on facility issues and more on their primary mission - providing quality education to students."
Publication date: 09/06/2004