Efficiency measures yield 50% drop in water use

Ameresco, Inc. announced today that its business unit in the Pacific Northwest, Ameresco Quantum, has decreased Belfair Elementary School’s water usage by 57.9% as shown in recent reporting.

As part of an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC), Ameresco worked with the North Mason School District to install energy efficient fixtures including toilets, urinals and faucet aerators in every lavatory in the school. In a sample month, water use was less than half that of the same month last year.

“As originally identified using Ameresco’s Total System Evaluation audit process, our savings are right on-target,” said Ed Lucas, Executive Director of Operations for the North Mason School District. “By reducing our water consumption, we will also cut our sewer expenses dramatically. To achieve such significant savings without the burden of a large capital investment is remarkable. We’re delighted to partner with Ameresco to bring energy and operational efficiency savings to Belfair Elementary and the District as a whole.”

Lucas added, “Since the school is due to hook-up to the sewer system and the fees will be based on the new lower water usage, the utility estimates that the water savings measures will provide an additional $18,000 in reduced hook-up fees. The reduced fees are definitely a nice unexpected bonus.”

The Belfair Elementary upgrades are only one part of the ESPC with Ameresco, which also included replacement of two aging boilers, a District-wide building controls retrofit, replacement of outdoor lighting systems, and other measures. Ameresco assisted the District in offsetting over 55% of the total project cost of $1,444,000 with nearly $795,000 in state grants and utility incentives. The balance of the project costs come from District funds and a loan through the Washington State Treasurer’s LOCAL program.

“These results highlight what’s best about Ameresco’s ESPC offerings,” said Michael J. O’Connor, Vice President, Northwest Region, Ameresco. “By minimizing the upfront costs associated with new and updated energy infrastructure, Ameresco enables customers to enjoy virtually immediate cost savings, not to mention the benefits associated with the improved school facilities and reduced environmental impacts.”

The North Mason School District ESPC is one of 59 energy efficiency contracts Ameresco entered into recently with Washington and Oregon school districts, including Portland Public Schools. The latest phase of Ameresco Quantum’s work at Portland Public Schools is expected to include efficiency measures at six other schools and the Blanchard Education Service Center. With the increased demand for energy efficiency solutions in the Pacific Northwest, Ameresco has expanded its local presence to support its existing contracts and new business in the area.