A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Covington schools save nearly $500,000 in energy costs over two years with solar panels

Covington Independent Public Schools has saved nearly $500,000 in energy costs since completing its energy savings project two years ago.

The district’s project included renovating building systems, converting the district’s interior and exterior lights to LED high-efficiency lighting and installing solar panels at two of its schools.

Billed electrical usage for 2018-2020 has been reduced by a dramatic 34.2 percent. Recent electric utility rate increases have impacted the value of the energy efficiency project in a positive way, with cost avoidance from implementing the project amounting to $457,299 during the most recent measurement year of July 2019 to June 2020.

Solar panels

Performance Services, the provider for the project, presented its findings to the Covington Board of Education last week.

“We are watchful agents of taxpayer money,” said Superintendent Alvin Garrison. “This project shows that we are willing to implement cost-saving projects to ensure that more resources reach the classrooms to meet our student needs.”

When Performance Services completed Covington’s project in October 2017, it guaranteed that the district would see an annual energy savings of $222,939. Measured and verified savings for the current year 2019-2020 was $272,719, exceeding the guarantee by $49,779, according to representatives from Performance Services, Bob Wede, Regional Manager and Mike Lindsey, Performance Assurance and Energy Leadership Manager.

The combined solar arrays have produced 495,094 kilowatt hours of energy, equivalent to powering 59 homes with electricity for one year.

Accomplishing the rooftop arrays at John G. Carlisle Elementary School and the Chapman Education Center on the Holmes High School campus made possible through a net metering agreement with Duke Energy.

Covington entered the Guaranteed Energy Savings Contract with Performance Services after extensive research to find a highly qualified provider to design and implement the district energy efficiency project.

The project meets the energy and efficiency needs of Covington’s Facility Plan. It resulted in much-needed improvements to all buildings throughout the school district, including an improved learning environment for students, enhanced maintenance and operations of facilities, and measured and verified energy savings reports.

Covington is one of the largest independent school districts in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, serving approximately 3,800 students.

Performance Services has served the learning environment and energy efficiency needs of K-12 schools since 1998. The company is a leading qualified provider of guaranteed energy savings contracts and specializes in major renovations, indoor air quality, solar power, and Energy Leadership programs for K-12 school districts.

Covington Independent Schools

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