MORRISTOWN, N.J. - The Southwest Licking School District in central Ohio qualified for a Rebuild America EnergySmart Schools partnership award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The award comes as a result of the district's work with Honeywell Building Solutions, which helped its schools reduce energy consumption and related costs.

Southwest Licking serves residents of Etna, Kirkersville, and Pataskala, Ohio, and is one of only 100 districts nationwide to achieve this distinction, which 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.

The district's five schools have completed the second phase of a Honeywell energy services program, including a solar panel installation, mechanical and HVAC system upgrades, and energy awareness training for students and staff.

According to Honeywell, it has helped the district 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 provide lighting upgrades and conversion from electric to hot water heating. Additional measures include window replacements, roof repairs, and the installation of a photovoltaic solar panel at one school.

The district took advantage of House Bill 264 to launch the project. The 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.

According to Honeywell, because of the performance contracting program, no new tax dollars were required to pay for the $1.6 million implementation. Further funding will come from the projected savings stemming from the upgrades, expected to be $178,000 annually.

Publication date: 09/06/2004