Source: ConEd Solutions

The Piper Unified School District in Kansas City, Kansas is reaping annual energy savings of more than $70,000 through a far-reaching energy efficiency and infrastructure program undertaken by ConEdison Solutions, one of the country’s leading energy services companies.

First launched in 2008, the energy program has helped Piper schools increase energy efficiency, while addressing infrastructure challenges to help meet the demands of growing enrollment.  The energy savings helps the district focus its dollars on the delivery of direct educational services.

School officials report $70,834 in annual energy savings achieved through the program, plus an additional $185,667 in non-energy-related savings.

“Every dollar saved goes toward improving the quality of education for the students in our district, our number-one priority,” said Steve Adams, Piper Unified School District superintendent.  “Saving energy also allows us to contribute to sustainability and overall environmental preservation.”

“The Piper Unified School District made an economic and environmentally conscious decision to invest in energy efficiency,” said James Dixon, VP of ConEdison Solutions, whose regional office is in Overland Park, KS.  “We are privileged that the district chose our company to help establish it as an energy efficiency role model for schools across Kansas.”

The district needed to combat space constraints by adding new facilities to accommodate growth, while maintaining the integrity of existing facilities.  As part of the program, the high school was renovated and expanded with a new 30,000 square-foot wing.  Other structures received much-needed infrastructure improvements.  

The project was funded through an energy services performance contract (ESPC), in which school districts receive energy infrastructure improvements with little or no up-front cost.  Under an ESPC, an energy services company like ConEdison Solutions guarantees future energy savings to be generated by the improvements which enables school districts to fund the costs of the improvements based on the savings. 

The first phase of  the project included installation of high-efficiency lighting, LED (light-emitting diode) exit signs, occupancy sensors, an energy management system, rooftop units and upgrades, low-flow water fixtures, a voice-over-Internet protocol phone system, a security system, and the football field turf and eight-lane track.  The second phase included remodeling work associated with the high school addition.  These improvements included energy-efficient lighting upgrades with drop ceilings, new HVAC systems, and water-efficiency upgrades.  The entire project was complete in September 2009.

The project’s energy savings also helped fund construction of a new wing of the Piper High School and a track-and-turf football field.

The initiative also resulted in significant environmental benefits.  The project reduces 691 tons of harmful greenhouse gas emissions annually, an amount equivalent to preserving 4.4 acres of forest from deforestation or conserving 1,458 barrels of oil.