School district to receive $500,000 grant for energy efficiency

Dec 12, 2012

The Mukilteo School District was awarded more than $500,000 for school facility energy for school facility energy efficiency improvements.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction announced Dec. 7 that a total of 21 schools were collectively awarded $14.9 million for energy efficiency.

The $532,700 award is one of three rounds of grants funded by $40 million in state bonds for energy efficiency grants for K-12 schools in the 2012 supplemental capital budget.

The projects produce long-term energy and operational savings, improve the indoor environmental qualities of our schools and help stimulate construction-industry jobs. The energy grant projects use utility incentives, energy savings, local money and the state grant to make improvements that may otherwise not be affordable.

The school district’s scope for its project includes heating, ventilation, air conditioning and water efficiencies. The total project costs $1.6 million.

“The cost of energy continues to rise, which puts a greater burden on our schools’ operating budgets,” said state Superintendent Randy Dorn. “We are seeing projects that replace old, worn-out heating systems, add insulation and new windows and get rid of outdated lighting.

“There are really three significant benefits to these projects: reducing the energy costs, eliminating energy-use waste and greatly improving the learning environment at the same time.”

In all, 28 school districts applied for grant funding for school infrastructure and building system improvements exceeding $37.5 million in total project costs. To qualify for the funds, school districts must conduct an investment-grade audit of their school facilities to identify projects that would yield energy savings and be most beneficial overall.

The majority of school districts are using energy services companies to design, construct and guarantee the energy savings. The traditional method of hiring a consultant team to design the project and a separate contractor to construct it is also being used.

Similar funding by the state Legislature for energy efficiency grants included $16.9 million in 2009, $50 million in 2010 and $20 million in the 2011-2013 capital budget.

For more information on these energy grants, visit OSPI’s School Facilities Energy Grant Program website.

-Edited by Beacon staff

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