Case Study: Performance Contracting

Grant County Schools

Grant County SchoolsPetersburg, West Virginia

A Performance Contract Resulting in West Virginia's First Zero Energy School

The Grant County Board of Education partnered with CMTA to implement an energy savings performance contract to transition their facilities into the 21st century.

The Challenges

  • Addressing aging HVAC equipment and needs of the district without access to other funding sources
  • Identifying significant energy conservation measures across 4 schools to leverage energy savings
  • Implementing energy conservation measures at a school district that was already among the most energy-efficient districts in the state
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It has been a great and pleasurable experience. CMTA has exceeded any and all expectations. Yes, there are other energy savings companies that are comparable to CMTA, but I honestly and sincerely feel CMTA goes above and beyond what is expected. They deliver! Created with Sketch.

Doug Lambert, Superintendent

Grant County Schools, West Virginia

The Solutions

As a school district located in the mountains of rural West Virginia, “traditional” means that funding for renovations are limited. CMTA was thrilled to partner with Grant County Schools to implement a guaranteed energy savings contract to upgrade all four of their schools. For a successful project at Grant County, CMTA took a meticulous project approach. Real project savings, rather than stipulated, were critical to help the district’s constricted budget. CMTA’s drive to reach national energy goals pushed the team to reach Zero Energy at Petersburg Elementary. The building was not Zero Energy ready prior to this project. The elementary facility had a unique opportunity to have a large solar array installed that would be fully funded by energy savings. A thoroughly commissioned HVAC control system and LED lighting upgrades were key factors in driving the energy usage of the building down and achieve the goal of Zero Energy.

CMTA implemented the largest net-metered solar array in the state of West Virginia at Grant County Schools’ Petersburg Elementary. This elementary school has a utility rate structure that dramatically impacts the payback period of a solar installation. For this reason, Grant County had the perfect opportunity to install a sizable solar array to generate energy savings and fund the district project. Excess savings generated by the shortened solar array payback period was allocated towards upgrading the district’s HVAC control system. 

A new district HVAC digital control system was designed to wring out wasted energy being consumed when schools were unoccupied. The new web-based HVAC control systems were connected to create better building monitoring and diagnostics. CMTA also improved existing lighting fixtures, upgrading the entire district to LED technology. Other improvements included installing an HVAC system at the main high school gymnasium. Plumbing fixtures were upgraded to minimize water consumption costs. CMTA also identified over $30,000 in utility overcharges through a complete utility bill audit before the project kicked off. Grant County will now save $30,000 on an annual basis due to the billing error being caught. Grant County Schools received over $115,000 in utility credits for overcharges over the past three years.

Zero Energy Renovation

The overall project developed a positive and lasting effect on the environment. Petersburg Elementary is now a Zero Energy building, the first in the state of West Virginia to achieve this status. This achievement means that the school is producing more onsite renewable energy with the PV array than it consumed in the past year.

The Results

During the construction phase, Grant County Schools realized a savings of more than $161,500. The school district will retain 100% of the excess savings, over $31,000. In addition to these savings, Grant County Schools received an electric billing credit for approximately $115,000 before the project began. CMTA utilized our data driven design approach to set achievable and accurate energy saving guarantees. Historical building data was used when analyzing how real savings would be achieved. Through this project, CMTA not only performed on a budget-neutral project, the team also tackled the district’s bottom line with over $146,000 of savings in the first year. Grant County School’s energy was reduced by 24% during the first construction year.

Grant County Schools Energy Use

What does this data mean?
Baseline: The annual energy consumption before the project
Guaranteed: CMTA's guaranteed energy use for the client post-project
Actual: The measured energy use after the project