County schools’ energy savings renovations are 87 percent complete

By TIM GETER,

Scott County School District started making renovations to improve building energy efficency during the first week of June last year. After seven months of renovations included in the $4.17 million energy savings performance contract (ESPC), Johnson  Control has completed 87 percent of the projects.

Those improvements consist of changing florescent lighting fixtures into LED fixtures, ceiling upgrades, HVAC improvement including new roof top units, boiler replacements and new roofing to Morton High School. By doing these renovations the school district hopes to save money.

“For the first year we should save a substantial amount of money,” said Dr. Tony McGee, superintendent of the Scott County School District.

According to Johnson Control the money  saved should be approximately $284,243. Being that this energy savings plan is financed  up to 16-years  it is estimated to save the school district more than $5.6 million by the time the school district has Johnson Control paid off. McGee stated that the money saved during this time period should pay the debt off.

Time will only tell how much money this project will save. However, if this energy savings plan falls short of the predictions made by the company, home based in Milwaukee with  branch companies including Jackson, and they can’t fulfill their projected date then they have opted to pay the difference of what was not saved.

“If the saving plan falls short Johnson Control will make up the difference,” McGee said. “This has been good for our schools.”

In September 2017 Johnson Controls announced that they had begun the renovation process. Theit account executive at said then that they were “excited to modernize the districts facilities while saving Scott County taxpayers money.”

 Scott County School District was able to finance this project through a zero percent interest loan from the federal government through the Mississippi Department of Education.

The Funding for this program was one of many government programs known as the Qualified Zone Academy Bond.

According to the U.S. Department of Education the purpose of this loan  provides a source of funding that may be used for renovating school buildings, purchasing equipment, developing curricula, and/or training school personnel. The proceeds of the bonds may not be used for new construction. This is a tax credit bonds program, not a grant program.