MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO) - School District 51 has made some changes that may pay off in a big way, because they're updating energy and lighting systems in the schools.
It’s all in an effort to use less energy, which translates into lower utility bills.
Energy Manager for the District Eric Anderson says the District made some upgrades on outdated systems. He says using these more effective technologies will reduce the district’s utility costs, “My hope is when we are done with this that we will have every building in Mesa County certified."
Before the District can save money, it has to spend a little first and with no room in the budget to do the upgrades District officials decided to use an Energy Performance Contracting Loan to pay for the upgrades.
They are planning to pay off the loans by using the money they save on energy bills. The savings will pay for some of the upgrade's cost, but a large portion will be paid back using energy rebates.
School District 51 and Xcel Energy are working on the upgrades together. Fred Eggleston with Xcel Energy says if School District officials do everything they've agreed to, then upon completion, Xcel will pay them a rebate of $730,000.
After the loans are paid off the energy saving is the school districts, which means less money spent on lights and more money going into classrooms.