Unlocking the Door to Energy Efficiency: 4 Funding Options Available for K-12 Schools
TLDR: The blog post is about funding options for K-12 schools to improve energy efficiency, such as Energy Savings Performance Contracts, grants, utility rebates, and bonds, and how each one has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. The post emphasizes that by improving energy efficiency, schools can save money and contribute to a healthier and more sustainable future.
As an air purifiers company, we understand the importance of maintaining a healthy and sustainable environment, especially in educational settings. One of the ways K-12 schools can achieve this goal is by improving energy efficiency. However, schools may struggle with funding these projects. In this blog post, we will go over four funding options available to K-12 schools to improve energy efficiency.
4 funding options
Grants: Grants offer external sources of capital that neither schools nor their taxpayers need to repay as long as the school performs the actions specified in the grant agreement. Grant money comes from a range of entities, including federal, state and regional governments, utility ratepayer-supported programs, and philanthropic organizations. School grants are typically specific to investments in maintenance, infrastructure, and renovations. While grants are an attractive source of funds, they are not always readily available and can require a time-intensive application process.
Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPC): An ESPC is an agreement between a district and an energy services company (ESCO) that identifies, designs, and installs energy-related improvements and arranges the necessary financing. Under this agreement, the ESCO guarantees that the improvements will generate energy cost savings sufficient to pay for the project over the term of the contract. The school district does not have to provide any upfront funding and only pays for the upgrades through the guaranteed energy savings. This is an attractive option for schools as it allows them to make energy-efficient upgrades without increasing the burden on taxpayers.
Utility rebates: Utilities, states and sometimes regions sometimes have funds available for pursuing energy efficiency or renewable energy projects. These programs typically offer financial incentives such as rebates to school districts that upgrade their energy systems to be more efficient. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) is a resource for the rebates available in your area. Click on your state, and then scroll down the list of incentives. Schools are usually included under the “business” incentives.
Bonds: Municipal bonds are long-term debt obligations and are commonly issued to finance large-scale construction projects and major improvements to infrastructure. Bonds for school projects are very similar to a mortgage on a home. To finance construction projects, the district sells bonds to investors who will be paid principal and interest. This is an attractive option for schools as it allows them to secure long-term funding for energy-efficient upgrades.
In summary, there are several funding options available to K-12 schools to improve energy efficiency. These include Energy Savings Performance Contracts, grants, utility rebates, and bonds. Each option has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, and it is essential for schools to research and understand the full range of options available to make an informed decision about which one is right for their needs. By improving energy efficiency, schools can save money and contribute to a healthier and more sustainable future.