FRAMINGHAM, Mass., and GORDON, Neb. — Ameresco Inc. and the Gordon-Rushville Public School District announced they are partnering on a comprehensive $5.8 million energy savings performance contract (ESPC) to improve the overall energy efficiency of Gordon-Rushville High School, Gordon-Rushville Middle School, and Gordon Elementary School.

As part of the guaranteed savings project, Ameresco conducted a detailed investment grade audit (IGA) of nearly 130,000 square feet of school building space and identified various energy efficiency upgrades and related capital improvement measures that it will design, construct, and commission. Some of the updates include the modernization of school buildings; replacement of HVAC systems with new rooftop units and ground source heat pumps; greater structural integrity including replacement of windows with premium efficiency dual-pane windows and partial roof repair and replacement; and replacement of existing lighting with new enhanced LED lighting. In addition, Ameresco assisted with procurement, helping to secure low interest financing, rebates, and utility cost savings to support the project.

“The district had undergone several years of deferring maintenance while recovering from some financial difficulties,” said Merrell Nelsen, superintendent of Gordon-Rushville Public Schools. “When we were finally able to get back on track, we hired Ameresco to conduct a study of our facilities to help identify the areas of greatest need of improvement and those that would result in the most significant energy savings.

“The Ameresco team put together the figures to update our facilities, assisted us in obtaining low-interest financing, and even worked with us to help gain the Department of Education’s approval of an allocation of Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZAB) in the amount of up to $2.5 million that will allow the sale of tax-exempt bonds for financing part of the project.”

The district received an additional bonus from the QZAB funding by associating with A+ Educators who will provide a contribution of more than $240,000 toward programs that improve the education of the students. In addition, due to the large quantity of lighting fixtures expected to be retrofitted to LEDs, the district’s utility provider created a custom rebate program which resulted in $41,465 in rebates for the school district.

“Ameresco is excited to partner with the district to provide an energy savings performance contract solution that allows the district to fund critical infrastructure upgrades and innovative energy saving initiatives in the schools without incurring additional capital costs to local taxpayers,” said Louis Maltezos, executive vice president, Ameresco. “The district is taking a proactive approach to enhancing the physical learning environment for its students and staff at the schools, while being fiscally prudent utilizing a budget-neutral solution for the efficiency upgrades.”

The project is expected to be completed by October 2015

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Publication date: 6/22/2015

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