With kids now back in school, school buildings are back to full operation. While the building isn’t the first thing we think of when we look for ways to help our kids succeed each year, it can have a significant impact on student and teacher morale, productivity and performance.
Honeywell helps schools enable a more comfortable and productive environment through innovative energy solutions, which have resulted in approximately $270 million of guaranteed savings for K-12 schools in the U.S. and Canada since 2013.
Studies, like the ones conducted by the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, have found positive correlations between building conditions and student performance, but, unfortunately, the inverse is also true. Given the fact that many facilities in the United States are in dire need of upgrades and improvements, how do we ensure they’re not working to the detriment of student achievement?
Maintaining these facilities over decades has proven difficult for many school districts due to factors such as rising energy costs, and tighter operating budgets with limited capital funds available for critical building improvements. A report issued in March 2016 from the Center for Green Schools estimated that America spends $46 billion less annually on construction and maintenance on schools than is needed to keep a safe and healthy environment. Add to this the fact that these very facilities could directly impact student achievement, and the urgency becomes clear.
Fortunately, creative solutions exist to help schools address these environmental and infrastructure conditions so they can focus on their primary goal: serving students.
Many school districts have turned to Energy Saving Performance Contracts (ESPC), financing tools offered by energy service companies such as Honeywell that enable schools to overcome the budgeting challenges with critical building updates. These agreements provide an avenue for schools to fund necessary building upgrades using the annual energy and operational savings they generate. The savings are guaranteed by Honeywell and the contract eliminates the need for any upfront capital investment.
Two Midwestern school districts recently wrapped up projects to modernize their buildings in time for the new school year. With each expecting savings between $50,000-$70,000 per year in energy efficiencies during the term of the contract, the upgrades are expected to lower each district’s annual energy consumption by approximately 30 percent.
As their students continue to learn and grow, school districts must continue to find new ways to support their needs. With these enhancements, schools are not only improving efficiency and energy savings, but also creating environments that enable the success of their students.