Guaranteed Energy Savings Exceed Expectations

Prior Lake-Savage Schools (PLSAS) is one of the most energy efficient districts in the state of Minnesota as a result of their 2014 Performance Contract with Nexus Solutions. PLSAS is realizing great savings in operating costs and energy use, along with better heating, cooling and lighting. This puts energy costs for PLSAS at .72 cents per square foot, a cost less than 20% of all schools in the state realize.

Earlier this year, Nexus Solutions presented an energy savings report to the School Board indicating the actual annual savings for the first year exceeded the original proposed savings for a majority of the building improvements. The school district saw energy savings of $220,911 between July 2015-June 2016, which exceeds the guaranteed annual utility savings of $117,097.

“We are pleased with this high return on investment which allows more dollars to be used in our classrooms,” said Julie Cink, Executive Director of Business Services.

The building improvements included:

  • Replacement of inefficient lighting in classrooms, lunchrooms and hallways with brighter, more energy-efficient lighting.
  • Updated exterior lighting with efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology. This new lighting has saved the district more than 50.5 percent of the energy used by inefficient lighting fixtures.

Other energy-saving upgrades included:

  • Adding a pool cover and ventilation control at Hidden Oaks and Twin Oaks Middle School.
  • Ventilation improvements at many of the schools in the district, resulting in savings that are significantly better than projected.
  • Major improvements to mechanical and energy control systems, such as new technology that can effectively meet building heating/cooling demands.

Overall, the new mechanical controls and lighting systems save energy, provide better comfort, increase lighting levels, and greatly enhance the student learning environment. The high-efficiency improvements also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, lowering the district’s overall environmental footprint.

“These savings represent our commitment as an E-STEM district towards sustainability efforts, while increasing the comfort level of our learning environments,” said Jim Dellwo, Director of Operations, Transportation, Health and Safety.

Deborah Smith