Towanda School Board looking at spending $1.1M or more on energy saving project
TOWANDA - The Towanda School Board met with representatives of Honeywell Building Solutions on Monday to discuss two options for a proposed guaranteed energy savings project for the district, one costing $1.1 million and the other costing $1.8 million.
The school district has selected Honeywell to design and implement a so-called guaranteed energy savings project for the district, which would make the district's school buildings more energy efficient.
The two options were developed by Honeywell in consultation with Towanda school officials, said Honeywell representative Patrick J. Salmon.
The first option, which is considered the "base project," would include six types of energy conservation measures, such as lighting improvements and other measures to conserve water and electricity, he said. The base option would cost $1.1 million to implement, Salmon said.
The second option, which would cost $1.8 million, would include the base project, plus $700,000 in additional improvements to the district's electrical system, which would mainly consist of the replacement of electrical switch gear, according to Honeywell.
Honeywell is projecting, using conservative numbers, that the base project would pay for itself in 15 years through reduced utility bills and operating costs, and generate an additional $60,000 in savings for the district, Salmon said.
While the additional $700,000 in improvements to the electrical system that are included in the second option would not pay for themselves at the end of the 15-year period, they would reduce the district's utility bills further, Salmon said.
Option 1 is projected to reduce the district's utility bills - including water, gas and electric - by 23 percent, he said.
Option 2 would reduce the district's utility bills by 27 percent, he said.
Honeywell representatives said there is a lack of spare parts for the electrical switch gear that would be replaced, due to its age.
Honeywell would guarantee the savings from the project, school district Business Manager Doreen Secor has said.
The school board could vote on selecting one of the options as early as next Monday.
Honeywell representatives said the company would hire subcontractors to implement the project. The school district is looking at borrowing money for the project.
As part of the process of designing the guaranteed energy savings project, Honeywell met with the district's Ad Hoc Energy Committee three times, and met numerous other times with Towanda School District officials, including Secor, Salmon said.
Initially, there were 14 types of energy conservation measures included in the guaranteed energy savings project, which were narrowed down over time to six for Option 1 and seven for Option 2, Salmon said.
The district's buildings are already energy efficient, but that the project would make them even moreso, Salmon said.
James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.