Public Sector


Oxford Community Schools

Oxford Community Schools

The Opportunity

The District's administrators were motivated to pursue energy efficiency primarily by their need to replace aging infrastructure, including two boilers and a chiller that were significant energy users. In addition to new equipment, the District recognized that energy efficiency offered an opportunity to reduce operating costs in an era of strained budgets and achieve classroom benefits in the form of improved lighting and comfort.

The Partnership

The OpTerra Energy Services and Oxford Community Schools partnership allowed the District to complete much-needed facilities improvements and address deferred maintenance priorities that were impacting their existing utility budget. Michigan's Oxford Community Schools entered into an energy savings performance contract and issued limited tax general obligation bonds to fund the $2.9 million energy-efficiency project. OpTerra provided a guarantee on the annual energy and operational savings along with a guarantee on implementation cost. These guarantees removed all the risk from the District and provided the District with a single point of accountability for the energy improvements that were implemented.

The Impact

By partnering with OpTerra, the District has realized significant savings – approximately $70,000 of positive cash flow ($340,000 gross savings) annually. Energy savings not only provided funding for this project but surpassed the original projected savings. The District was pleased that as a result of changing out aging technology, the increased classroom comfort had a positive impact on students and teachers.

The Technical Scope

This project included complete re-commissioning of all District school buildings, including the newly constructed High School facility, along with the following:

  • Modified natatorium summer reheat source
  • Boiler system modification and improvements
  • Retrofit / repaired AHUs
  • Lighting upgrades in all buildings
  • Building envelope and HVAC improvements, including air conditioning to classrooms
  • Water conservation
  • Installed natural gas and electric sub meters
  • Eliminated two existing greenhouses
  • Power factor correction
  • Vending machine energy controllers
  • Utility procurement management / consulting
  • Energy awareness training