We must look for intelligent ways to enhance our educational facilities without using additional tax dollars, said Steve Jones, chairman of the Board, LSSD. The facility improvements will create a more productive learning environment for our students and staff without burdening taxpayers.
The program is being funded through an energy performance contract with Johnson Controls, who will oversee implementation of the energy-saving infrastructure improvements. A performance contract enables public- and private-sector organizations to significantly reduce their utility costs and carbon footprints without the need to raise additional funds to pay for upgrades. The savings generated will self-fund the cost of the project.
Additionally, a zero percent loan program and one-time grant of nearly $6,000 from the states Energy Efficient Schools Initiative (EESI) will also help in financing the program. Further benefits will come to the district via the Tennessee Valley Authoritys (TVA) Commercial Efficiency and Advice Incentive program, including a one-time rebate of approximately $82,000. In total, the zero percent loan program and grants from the EESI and TVA will provide taxpayers within the Lebanon Special School District more than $500,000 of avoided interest and benefits.
This project reflects an encouraging trend in districts and municipalities across the U.S. to realize the benefits of utilizing public-private partnerships to build more energy-efficient communities, said Joe Bond, K-12 building efficiency consultant, Johnson Controls. Were looking forward to working with the district to showcase the value energy enhancements can have in the daily lives of students, faculty and staff.