School, County Officials Consider Energy Savings Plan

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Tuesday night at the Cannon County Courthouse several county commissioners met along with County Executive Mike Gannon and School Board Chairman Randy Gannon to sit in on an introduction to Performance Contracting.

This program was presented by Schneider Electric Account Executive Kaitlynn Pastor. This program is designed to engineer a system to be utilized by the schools to make them energy efficient through planned electrical uses.

This plan was presented to the School Board at a meeting at Woodland School. Basically it was started by former School Director Edd Diden and was again presented to Director of Schools Barbara Parker by Ms. Pastor.

The Schneider Company was asked to present it to the commissioners because the school system cannot borrow money; the Commission can only do this. Basically, Schneider will act as a contractor and will bring in sub-contractors to do certain repairs to the different schools to make them come into compliance with what the company says will save the school system and county money. They will have their engineers come in to inspect the buildings, and then draft a plan to save this particular building money on electrical usage.

The preliminary inspection by their engineers will cost $45,000.00 at the start, but if the school system does not take the project the system will have to pay the amount. If the system does take on the project the money will be absorbed into the total loan. Schneider will make the application for the initial grant which would pay for the initial inspection and they will be there to help attain other grants for the school for this project.

After the initial inspection Schneider will show the county how much they will save each year on power bills. In fact the company is so sure of their projection that they will guarantee 85% of the yearly loan payment to the lending organization; and if the savings fall short of their projection the company will write a check in an amount that would bring the amount up to their prediction. Josh Pittman of the Schneider Company told the members that the company has performed this service in over 500 school systems across the United States and has had to write a check to bring the guarantee up to their stated level only 24 times. The program lasts for 15 years and can be canceled by the school system. The Schneider Company will be there for support for the 15 years and will train the maintenance department of the schools to be able to take care of just about any trouble. They say that 95% percent of the time the problem can be fixed over the phone and if it can’t they will send someone to fix the problem on site. To send someone out to repair the problem will be at market value.

School Board Chairman Randy Gannon explained to the Commissioners that this had originally began as a way of trying to save money by doing something about the old windows that are a problem in conserving energy. Fifth District Commissioner Bob Stoetzel asked if the School Board had done a cost study yet on replacing the windows in all the old schools, Gannon said no they hadn’t. Stoetzel also wanted to know if they could, because that by itself will save money on the power usage.

The school system will now get together and make a decision on whether to ask the Board of Commissioners if they would help. The way the loan system is going to be set up, and the fact there is a guarantee by the Schneider Company there will not have to be any tax raise to fund the program.

Commissioners Mark Barker, Joe Wimberley, Greg Mitchell, Bob Stoetzel and County Executive Mike Gannon were on hand for the presentation.
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