Virginia schools to install multi-million-dollar energy efficiency upgrades

The Bristol, Virginia school board recently embarked on a new $3.24 million project in order to implement new energy efficiency measures in Virginia High School.

Local news publication The Bristol Herald Courier reported that the district has partnered with the Indiana-based firm Energy Systems Group to install a slew of new sustainability improvements throughout the high school and, to a lesser extent, the Van Pelt Elementary and Virginia Middle Schools as well. As part of the deal, Energy Systems Group will install new energy-efficient windows, thermostats, boilers and blinds as well as make repairs to ceilings.

The contract was made possible by a loan from the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME), which will help offset the initial costs of the upgrades. Tammy Jones, the school system's Finance Director, praised the development and shared how the district would be utilizing its new savings to repay the loan.

"The DMME allows for an energy efficiency performance contract. We went through the process with the city to do this. This will provide capital improvements with savings generated from energy savings from new lights, windows and boilers," Jones told the source. "With the savings in energy consumption, we will pay for this loan that will fund all these energy projects."

According to the source, the new windows and other improvements will yield a total of $2.5 million in saved energy costs and another $170,000 in saved maintenance expenses over the next 15 years.

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