TOWANDA - The Towanda School District's $1.8 million guaranteed energy savings project has been completed on schedule, with no change orders, and little or no disruption to the classroom learning environment, a representative of Honeywell Energy and Environmental Solutions said.

As a result of the project, all three of the district's schools have achieved energy efficiency rating scores of 98 out of 100 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Program, which are "some of the best scores Energy Star has seen," according to a written information that was provided by Honeywell.

"I am thrilled to be associated with you, to have energy efficiencies like that," Patrick J. Salmon, an account executive with Honeywell told the Towanda School Board on Monday. "You should be very proud."

The project included a variety of cost-saving measures, including installing more energy efficient lighting in the schools; installing motion sensors that will automatically switch off lights in certain locations if no one is in the room; installing faucet restrictors that will cut back on water flow; installing high-efficiency transformers in the Towanda Area Elementary and J. Andrew Morrow Primary schools to replace existing ones; upgrading vending machines so that the machine's lighting isn't on when people aren't using the machines; and sealing areas near the roofs of buildings to prevent drafts from entering the buildings, Towanda School District Business Manager Doreen Secor has said.

As part of the project, newly installed fans in the district's gymnasiums will circulate air so that the warm air near the ceiling will move toward the floor, reducing heating costs, Salmon said.

Also as part of the project, the district's old Federal Pacific switch gear, for which spare parts were unavailable, was replaced with new equipment, he said.

The switch gear was in really bad shape, he added.

Honeywell has projected that the project will reduce the district's utility bills by 27 percent.

Using a conservative estimate, the main energy saving components of the project will pay for themselves within 15 years through reduced utility bills and operating costs, and generate an additional $60,000 in savings for the district, Honeywell has said.

By including the replacement of the switch gear in the project, the entire project will not pay for itself at the end of the 15-year period, but the district's utility bills will be reduced further, Honeywell has said.

James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or email: jloewenstein@thedailyreview.com.