Texas School District to Save over $1.8 Million

The White Oak (Texas ) Independent School District is implementing $1.8 million in energy efficiency upgrades at nine district buildings. The Energy Solutions division of TAC will complete the work as an energy saving performance contract and guarantees that the district will save $132,000 annually.

The White Oak Independent School District (ISD) in White Oak, Texas, is implementing more than $1.8 million in facility enhancements designed to improve operations, comfort and efficiency at nine district buildings containing a total of 413,000 square feet. The Energy Solutions division of TAC, a world leader in energy services, building automation and security, will complete the work as a guaranteed energy savings performance contract with the district. TAC guarantees that White Oak ISD will reduce its utility costs by $132,000 annually for 15 years once the project is completed in August 2009.

Located in the pine forests of northeast Texas, 125 miles east of Dallas, White Oak ISD serves approximately 1,300 students at four schools. Recently, a number of facility problems were identified, including boiler and chiller failures, poorly performing pneumatic controls, antiquated gym lighting, and high utility costs.

"As we faced the failure of our mechanical systems, our district did not have bond money or a large general fund to address these capital needs," said Michael Gilbert, White Oak ISD superintendent. "We are also potentially facing higher utility costs when the local power company deregulates in a few years. TAC and the performance contact provide a solution for our most pressing problems."

Performance contracting offers many long-term benefits for school districts, such as improved facility efficiency, occupant comfort, financial management and environmental protection. Typically, new, more efficient equipment and upgraded facility automation systems maximize energy efficiency and generate utility savings. TAC guarantees the amount of annual energy savings and agrees to pay the difference if that amount is not realized.

TAC will resolve White Oak ISD's facility challenges with several energy conservation measures (ECMs). Mechanical system upgrades will include installing two new boilers, two new chillers, eight new pumps, and retrofitting 10 air handlers. A districtwide energy management system (EMS) will tie all the systems together to ensure comfort and efficiency.

The EMS will enable facility operators to monitor, control and troubleshoot all the various mechanical systems from a central control station. TAC will also place humidity and CO2 sensors throughout the school buildings, which will automatically adjust ventilation based on real-time readings. Finally, new high-efficiency classroom lighting and competition gym lighting will help lower utility charges while improving visibility.

"In addition to energy savings, the performance contract qualifies the White Oak ISD to receive a rebate in excess of $22,000 from the power company," said Shon Anderson, vice president of TAC Energy Solutions Sales. "It is also worth noting that TAC will provide this volleyball powerhouse with the best gym lighting available. When competing districts in East Texas see the new lighting in White Oak's gyms, they will know that this district is ahead of the curve."

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