ABM’s suggested infrastructure improvements and energy performance contracting program are expected to save a California school district more than $4.6 million in energy and operating costs over a 20-year period. 

The project, finalized in summer 2017, included energy efficiency enhancements and water conservation measure to multiple schools within the district.

“ABM is excited to support Salida Union School District in its efforts to improve the learning environment, energy efficiency and sustainability of its schools, while also creating general fund relief that can be used to support educational programs for many years to come,” said Scott Giacobbe, president of ABM Building & Energy Solutions.

The Salida, California-based school district had been facing rising operating and maintenance costs due to aging facility equipment. All of the HVAC systems at four elementary schools in the district were more than 25 years old, according to school officials, but the district didn’t have the necessary funds to replace the equipment.

Fortunately for the school district, the California Clean Energy Jobs Act — aka Proposition 39 — allocates revenue to local education agencies to support energy efficiency and alternative energy projects as well as related improvements and repairs that reduce operating costs and improve health and safety conditions in public schools.

To help the district adhere to the California Energy Commission’s strict accountability requirements, ABM conducted an extensive energy audit and worked closely with leaders in the district to discover failing equipment and energy efficiency opportunities for multiple schools. After ABM’s team created a detailed energy efficiency plan and project scope, the school district successfully obtained a Proposition 39 grant to fund the project as well as a zero-interest loan through the California Energy Commission’s Energy Conservation Assistance Act for Education.

“Salida Union School District’s primary goal is to provide an excellent educational experience for our students. By conducting a very thorough and thoughtful analysis, ABM was able to upgrade our facilities, minimizing our carbon footprint on our environment,” said Twila Tosh, superintendent of the school district. “These upgrades reduced our monthly utility costs and increased the programs and learning opportunities for our students. These cost-saving measures allow the district to reinvest money back into our future and our greatest asset: our students.”

In total, ABM replaced 84 HVAC units that were more than 25 years old with new, energy-efficient ones. The company installed outside economizers and, in some cases, fresh air intakes to improve indoor air quality and reduce the cooling load at four elementary schools. The use of solar photovoltaic energy systems at two elementary schools will provide energy savings in excess of $46,000 per year, ABM officials said. ABM also implemented a “cool roof” restoration at another elementary school that covers nearly 40,000 square feet. Additionally, the company upgraded water-saving equipment throughout the school district.