ODOE announces energy efficiency grants for six Oregon school districts

$400,000 in grant funding will support upgrades to heating and water heating systems, lighting, and windows

CONTACT:
Rachel Wray, 503-689-0294
Cliff Voliva, 503-378-3637

SALEM — The Oregon Department of Energy announced today grant funding for energy efficiency upgrades at schools in Lane, Union, Grant, Wasco, and Jackson counties. The grants, ranging from $12,000 to more than $112,000, will help schools upgrade heating and water heating systems, retrofit lighting, and replace inefficient windows.

“School districts across Oregon are looking for ways to reduce energy while improving classroom learning environments,” said Michael Kaplan, ODOE director. “These grants will help schools implement cost-effective projects that deliver benefits to students, educators, and districts’ bottom lines for years to come.”

ODOE’s grant awards are the latest step of a multi-year effort to help school districts pursue energy efficiency projects. Under ODOE’s Cool Schools program, districts are also eligible for low-interest loans, technical and business assistance, and energy audits – all of which are designed to help school administrators and school boards implement projects that improve classroom comfort, improve energy efficiency, and save money.

The approved projects demonstrate how simple improvements result in big changes. For example, in Wasco County’s Dufur School District, facilities staff currently operate a diesel boiler year-round to heat water for locker room showers. With the approved grant funding, the district will install energy efficient water heaters, which will allow staff to turn the boiler off during warmer months when it is not needed to heat the school.

More than 25 school districts across Oregon applied for this special funding opportunity. ODOE’s Cool Schools staff will work with districts that did not receive a grant on options for financing projects. For those schools receiving awards, ODOE will distribute funds this spring to help projects complete construction by the start of the 2015-2016 school year.

Full list of recipients below. For more information about energy programs for Oregon schools, visit http://www.oregon.gov/energy/energy-oregon/Pages/Schools-and-Public-Buildings.aspx.

Blachly School District, Lane County, $105,000 grant – Converting the heating system at Triangle Lake Charter School from steam heat to mini-split ductless heat pumps. Estimated annual energy savings: $18,981.

La Grande School District, Union County, $22,620 grant – Upgrading interior and exterior lighting to LEDs at five schools: Greenwood Elementary, Island City Elementary, Willow Elementary, La Grande Middle and La Grande High. The grant will be supplemented by a $9,530 incentive from Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative. Estimated annual energy savings: $1,611.

Dufur School District, Wasco County, $51,278 grant – Installing two electric water heaters to significantly reduce the use of a diesel boiler (for water heating) and replacing single-pane wood frame windows and doors with Low-E glass windows and doors at Dufur School (K-8 and a portion of the high school). Estimated annual energy savings: $4,073.

Medford School District, Jackson County, $112,542 grant – Upgrading interior lighting from T-12 fluorescents to LEDs at the Medford School District Education Center, which currently houses the district’s administration offices and Central Medford High School. The grant will be supplemented by a $30,929 incentive from the Energy Trust of Oregon. Estimated annual energy savings: $8,433.

John Day School District, Grant County, $95,730 grant – Upgrading interior lighting from fluorescent to LEDs at Grant Union Jr./Sr. High School. The grant will be supplemented by a $30,093 incentive from Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative. Estimated annual energy savings: $10,157.

Mapleton School District, Lane County, $12,830 grant – Upgrading interior lighting from metal halide to T-5 fluorescents and adding lighting controls to Mapleton Middle/High School and Elementary School. Estimated annual energy savings: $1,965.

About the Oregon Department of Energy: The Oregon Department of Energy reduces the long-term costs of energy for Oregonians. It provides tax credits, grants, loans, technical assistance and energy information for homeowners, businesses, manufacturers, farms, ranches, schools and governments.

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