May 17, 2021 - At its 55th Annual Institute educational conference held virtually last week, the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials, Inc. (MASBO, a non-profit organization that provides professional development for public school financial officials), presented the organization’s Donald D. Johnson Operational & Cost Efficiency Award to the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District. The award recognizes the accomplishment of a district that has implemented a program, activity, or initiative that resulted in increased efficiency and savings that can be applied more directly to educational priorities. Established in 2011, this award is made possible through MASBO’s partnership with VOYA Financial, and comes with a $2500 contribution to the district in honor of the recipient.
In 2018, Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District (SEBRSD) was experiencing ongoing issues with school boilers, outdated controls, and other building systems. “The boilers, controls, and systems had run their course and surpassed their useful life,” said Superintendent of Schools Paul Haughey. School Business Administrator Gary Suter and his team spoke to other school districts and learned about Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC), an innovative financing technique that uses energy savings from the building owner's existing operating budget to repay the cost of energy efficient equipment and related facility improvements known as Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs). Building owners make no upfront investment, but rather use the energy savings created by the ECM’s to fully fund the project over a term that may extend to 20 years. All energy savings are guaranteed annually to meet or exceed project costs. If a shortfall in savings occurs, the Energy Service Company (ESCO) issues a check for the difference, and they make any necessary additional improvements to ensure that future savings are realized. All savings in excess of the guaranteed savings remain 100% with the building owner. SEBRSD installed, upgraded, and/or improved lighting and controls, building automation standardization, weatherization measures, plug load controls, kitchen hood controls, walk-in cooler controls, new condensing boilers, pumps and domestic hot water, and more. The contract cost of $4.1M over 10 years guarantees savings of over $207K.
Congratulations to the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District, Gary Suter, School Business Administrator and Paul Haughey, Superintendent of Schools, for earning this year’s Donald D. Johnson Operations & Cost Efficiency Award!