Colfax school district’s $1.9 million energy efficiency project includes wireless Internet and laptop computers

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — The list of energy efficiency projects approved by the Colfax Board of Education at the June 17 meeting includes wireless Internet, 162 replacement laptop computers, a data center to replace server computers and a variety of building upgrades.

All together, once they are completed, the projects will save the school district $144,000 each year on energy and operational and maintenance costs.

The school district also will receive $15,775 in one-time incentive money to complete the projects.

The entire list of projects recommended by H&H Energy Management came to nearly $3 million and would have represented an annual savings of $174,000.

Here is the list of projects approved by the Colfax Board of Education:

• 2 LP school buses at a cost of $257,424, with an annual savings of $12,698.

• Wireless Internet at a cost of $330,638, with an annual savings of $32,312 (operation and maintenance).

• Upgraded unit ventilator heaters at a cost of $137,875, with an annual savings of $3,548.

• Roofing upgrades at a cost of $286,556, with an annual savings of $1,808. (The roof is leaking in several areas now, but there is no way to calculate the savings from damage prevented by fixing the roof.)

• Variable frequency drives on hot water pumps and air handling units at a cost of $19,023, with an annual savings of $5,972.

• Indoor lighting at a cost $84,230, with an annual savings of $7,246.

• Building envelope (to reduce thermal energy loss) and carpeting at a cost of $138,857, with an annual savings of $6,507.

• Upgrade from pneumatic to digital controls for the heating system at Colfax Elementary at a cost of $73,574, with an annual savings of $2,533.

• Data center to replace server computers at a cost of $141,350, with an annual savings of $19,523.

• Unified communications and emergency notification system at a cost of $89,870, with an annual savings of $8,641. (This project will allow the school district to notify parents of school cancellations or emergency situations by sending out e-mails, text messages or voicemail messages.)

• Replacement laptops (162) at a cost of $189,251, with an annual savings of $34,781.

• An additional bus upgrade for a rural route at a cost of $114,967, with annual savings of $8,466.

Removed

Here are the items the Colfax Board of Education removed from the list of energy efficiency projects:

• Vending machine misers at a cost of $827, with an annual savings of $273.

• Computer power management at a cost of $7,127, with an annual savings of $1,558. (Using more laptop computers will automatically save electricity compared to the amount of electricity used by desktop models.)

• Water conservation at a cost of $45,048, with an annual savings of $3,624.

• Outdoor lighting at a cost of $84,157, with an annual savings of $5,433.

• Spray foam insulation applied to the bus maintenance garage at a cost of $29,921, with an annual savings of $410.

• Greenhouse thermal curtain at a cost of $15,007, with an annual savings of $568.

• Upgrade heating system controls from pneumatic to digital at the high school at a cost of $163,130, with an annual savings of $3,429.

• Energy education program for two years at a cost of $80,000, with an annual savings of $1,799.

• Energy education program for one year at a cost of $40,000, with an annual savings of $900.

• Pole mounted solar system at a cost of $32,938, with an annual savings of $417.

• Security system upgrade at a cost of $89,561, with zero annual savings.

• Security system upgrade for roll down doors at a cost of $34,630, with zero annual savings.

• Two mobile carts with 120 computer laptops at a cost of $129,727, with zero annual savings.

• Three additional mobile carts with 90 laptop computers at a cost of $98,873, with zero annual savings.

• Mobile video conferencing at a cost of $30,810, with an annual savings of $7,000.

• One additional bus for urban routes at a cost of $114,979, with an annual savings of $4231.

The items removed from the list would have cost nearly $1 million, with annual savings of about $30,000. $993,825, with an annual savings of $28,742.