Kaneland to work with energy conservation company

By on May 2, 2014

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday agreed to move forward and enter into a contract agreement with an energy management and conservation program.

The company that will work with Kaneland schools to conserve energy is Cenergistic. The five-year contract will last from May 1 until April 30, 2019. The cost to the district is $9,000 per month. The voted recommendation came with an expectation that there would be “energy savings expected to exceed all costs during this time period.”

All board members voted yes to to the agreement with the exception of Pedro Rivas.

“There’s nothing that holds this company (Cenergistic) liable past five years,” Rivas said. “I’m concerned with that.”

According to a report by Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs, Assistant Superintendent for Business, there will not be program implementation costs, which includes capital investment, for the first four months.

“The guarantee is that all costs associated with the program are 100 percent funded through savings in energy reduction,” Fuchs wrote in the report. “The projected savings in the first year for Kaneland are estimated to be $98,000.”

Rivas suggested that Kaneland’s National Honors Society students be given the chance to come up with ideas to conserve energy instead of Cenergistic.

“Why should I pay them a half million dollars?” Rivas asked.

“I want to make sure we can measure the outcome concretely,” board member Tony Valente said. “It just scares me to (pay) $500,000 we don’t have.”

Bob Davis, regional president of Cenergistic, talked after the meeting about the benefits of the Kaneland School District working with the company.

“Every dollar that’s involved in this program is generated by reducing utility bills that are already budgeted this year or will be budgeted in future years,” he said.

Davis said the company would save the Kaneland District “roughly” $2,050,000 over a 10-year period.

Expected areas of savings include water, electric and gas bills.

“Why would they pay utility companies $2 million dollars that we could put back in their pockets for academic programs, for their students, for addition of faculty and staff, for additions to buildings that they have?” Davis asked. “Why pay out when you could pay in?”