Board reviews energy bundling proposal

The board will vote on the matter at a future meeting.
Graphic: Winters Express
Graphic: Winters Express

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Representatives from ABM Building Solutions, LLC presented an informational investment grade audit regarding a potential district-wide energy bundling scheme to the Winters Joint Unified Board of Trustees at their meeting May 16. The proposal asserted the company would guarantee $109,722 in annual savings by modernizing school infrastructure including windows and doors, HVAC units and lighting at the pre-school, Waggoner Elementary, Winters Middle School and Winters High School. ABM would also “revitalize” salvageable equipment. ABM approached the district in July 2018 to offer the study. “Overall, this helps hedge the district so that you have less of a risk to what we know is going to be potential rate increase in the future,” the ABM representative said. Hedging their numbers against projected PG&E rate increases and taking into account money-saving measures like zero-percent eco-loans from the California Energy Commission, ABM offered three options. “Option A” would cost $2,165,945 with an annual payment of $151,710 and projected long-term savings of $3,039,747, and would comprise of improving the hot water system. “Option B” would cost $2,716,287 with an annual payment of $190,257 and projected long-term savings of $3,860,672, and would also include replacing HVAC units in the gym. All-inclusive “Option C” would cost $3,075,865 with an annual payment of $215,443 and projected long-term savings of $4,346,852, would also include new windows and other weatherization upgrades at various sites. ABM would do the majority of the installations in house, training district facilities employees in machine operation, although a local business would be contracted to install windows, per an agreement with the board. Board members expressed skepticism at some of ABMs numbers based on assumptions “It makes me very uncomfortable,” Trustee Carrie Green said. “Are they good prices? I don’t know. I mean, $2.1 million is a lot of money.” When Green questioned specific numbers, ABM representatives said the savings are calculated after taking into account hypothetical inflation and rate escalation. Board President Robert Warren commented that the operations and maintenance costs would increase as the equipment aged, which ABM confirmed. After the questions, the informational item was concluded. The decision will return as an action item at a future board meeting. If the board opts out, the district will have to pay for the cost of the study: $28,700.]]>

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