Russia/Hardin-Houston schools recieve rebate checks for saving energy

By Alexandra Newman -

DAYTON — On Tuesday, several area schools were presented with checks for saving energy.

Russia and Hardin-Houston Local Schools were among the 13 who received a total of $307,000 in energy efficiency rebates.

Through the On Board program, a partnership between Dayton Power & Light (DP&L), Waibel Energy Systems and the Southwestern Ohio Educational Purchasing Council, 32 school districts reduced their energy costs without any capital improvements or installation of new equipment.

The school districts participating in On Board are using simple energy-saving measures recommended by Waibel Energy Systems, such as programming boilers more effectively, reducing heating/cooling based on occupancy and using energy meters to improve load shedding during nights, weekends, holidays and snow days. DP&L contracted with Heapy Engineering to verify the results and calculate the energy efficiency rebates.

“We received $2,982.70 in energy rebate. This year due to the energy savings efforts through Waibel and DP&L we saw approximately $8,000 in electric and gas savings from the previous years. We have been working on energy savings for the past five years since the completion of our 2011 construction project. In the past five years we have reduced our utility cost by over $50,000 per year,” Russia Superintendent Steven Rose said.

He said the two biggest savings for Russia came from making the HVAC equipment more efficient by controlling the temperatures of the heat based on the outside temperature and turning the system off when it is not in use.

The rebate money will go into the general fund to be used where needed.

“We will always be looking at ways to more efficiently run the building but unfortunately we are only able to participate in the DP&L rebate program for one year. Based on information on the age of the building and our utility cost per square footage we are running the building extremely efficiently,” Rose said.

Hardin-Houston’s rebate was $5,432. They have saved a total of $13,154.07 for propane and electric through the initiative. The total amount of rebate money the district has received to date is $26,946.50. Making a total of savings and rebates $40,100.57.

Hardin-Houston Superintendent Larry Claypool said the practices that helped them save energy included proper scheduling, building pressure control to alleviate cold drafts and excess infiltration, boiler control, and chiller and ice making mode control.

“This program has had a positive impact on our local school district. According to Waibel Energy Systems General Manager Dave Crosley, this program generated over $1.36 million in savings across 32 local districts and Hardin-Houston is proud to have been a part of it. There were $307,000 in Rebate checks awarded Tuesday, and it is projected that there will be close to another $700,000 presented at the next meeting,” Claypool said.

The rebate dollars received by Hardin-Houston will be used to offset future energy costs and related projects. They are also working to put together a plan to see what opportunities are available in order to maintain and to continue to find savings.

Waibel Energy Systems piloted the program with Vandalia Butler Schools in 2013, saving the district $147,395 per year in energy costs and earning it $78,000 in rebates from DP&L.

“The On Board program shows that making even the simplest changes can yield smarter ways to reduce energy costs and save money. We applaud these school districts and our partners for their pro-active approach to saving energy and protecting the environment,” said Tom Raga, President and CEO of DP&L. “By working together, DP&L, Waibel, and the Southwestern Ohio Educational Purchasing Council are making a difference for the students and the community.”

The 13 schools/districts who received DP&L energy efficiency rebates include: Bellefontaine City Schools, Brookville Local Schools, Centerville City Schools, Eaton Community Schools, Fort Recovery Local Schools, Graham Local Schools, Hardin-Houston Local Schools, Milton-Union Exempted Village Schools, Northmont City Schools, Russia Local Schools, Twin Valley Community Local Schools, West Carrolton City Schools and Xenia Community Schools.

By Alexandra Newman

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; Follow the SDN on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @sidneydailynews

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; Follow the SDN on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @sidneydailynews