Trane, a global leader in indoor comfort solutions, and a brand of Ingersoll Rand, has recognized the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School District (DRRSD), with an Energy Efficiency Leader Award for a multi-year energy conservation program that improves classroom comfort and reduces district energy costs by more than 60%.
The district is tackling energy waste and classroom comfort head on.“We reached a point where we had to make updates to improve the learning environment quality in our schools,” said Anthony Azar, DRRSD Superintendent. “Our phased approach caused minimal disruption to our students and has already created a more comfortable place to learn.”
Anthony Azar and Eliza Coutour, school committee chairwoman, accepted the award on behalf of the district at a ceremony yesterday at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School. The district’s long-term commitment to providing an energy-efficient learning environment throughout its five schools includes extensive energy conservation and facility improvements.
The nearly $19 million in improvements will reduce at least 62% reduction in energy spend, which equals approximately $564,000 annually.
DRRSD made facility improvements with money earned through energy savings. This approach to paying for improvements to public facilities using guaranteed energy savings is known as Performance Contracting and is supported by Massachusetts state law.
DRRSD also received more than $620,000 in utility rebates and more than $2.73 million in solar and biomass incentives.
“DRRSD deserves this award for their commitment to conserving energy and ensuring the best environment possible for their students, said Kevin Colbert, district general manager for Trane. “They are a true example of an Energy Efficiency Leader.”
The district project include replacing outdated boilers, lighting and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and controls. It also included replacing roofs and windows at two schools and a 1.2-megawatt solar photovoltaic system, including 12 individual carport canopies throughout the district to generate renewable energy. The project continues, and the old Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School roof is currently being replaced as phase five of the comprehensive energy services agreement.
Each year, taxpayers spend about $6 billion on energy to run K-12 schools, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). These costs could be reduced by an estimated 25% through facility updates and energy efficiency initiatives, like those at DRRSD.