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Covington Schools Sees $800,000 in Savings from Energy Project

Covington Independent Public Schools has saved more than $800,000 in utility costs in the three years since completing an energy savings project, the district announced this week.

The Covington board of education tapped Performance Services to renovate building systems, convert its interior and exterior lights to LED high-efficiency lighting, and to install solar panels at two schools.

Billed energy use was reduced by 41.6 percent for the 2020-21 school year, the district said, and overall by $818,000 in three years.

Performance Services presented its report to the board last week.

Recent electric utility rate increases have impacted the value of the energy efficiency project positively, with cost avoidance from implementing the project amounting to $585,082 during the most recent measurement year of July 2020  to June 2021.

“We are watchful agents of taxpayer money,’’ said Superintendent Alvin Garrison. “This project continues  to provide significant financial benefits and 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. According to Mike Lindsey, performance assurance and energy leadership manager at Performance Services, measured and verified savings for the current year 2019-2020 was $273,654, exceeding the guarantee by 22.7 percent. 

The combined solar arrays produced 479,450 kilowatt-hours in 2020-21, equivalent to powering 45 homes with electricity for one year, the report said. As reported earlier, accomplishing the rooftop arrays at John G. Carlisle Elementary School and the Chapman Education Center on the Holmes High School campus was made possible through a net metering agreement with Duke Energy.  

-Staff report