Montcalm Community College deal saves on energy

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 10:57 pm on Friday, December 16, 2011

Montcalm Community College’s Michigan Technical Education Center in Greenville will see nearly $193,000 of improvements to save energy costs — File photo .

SIDNEY — Montcalm Community College is moving forward with a $1.1 million plan to save energy on both the Sidney and Greenville campuses.

The college received an energy audit from Ameresco earlier this year. The company surveyed all of the energy usage in every college facility and generated a report.

Ameresco then developed a list of recommendations for changes and renovations that would save energy costs.

The company’s energy saving projects total more than $1.1 million — more than $976,000 on the Sidney campus and nearly $193,000 at the Greenville facility. Ameresco is guaranteeing the projects would save more than $129,000 in energy costs every year.

Montcalm Community College President Bob Ferrentino assured the board that the $1.1 million total cost would be covered over a 10-year period, based on the savings the school would collect from changing its energy conservation measures.

“That’s a guarantee from Ameresco,” Ferrentino said. “If for any reason the savings on the year do not meet that number, Ameresco will make up the difference.”

Vice President for Administrative Services Jim Lantz said Ameresco’s proposed projects include lighting upgrades, a new energy management system, an energy management system at the Greenville facility and energy efficiency training.

The college needs to take out a loan to pay for the $1.1 million project cost. Ferrentino said a request for proposals to finance the project is expected to result in the lowest available financing.

“This is going to cost the college money in the immediate present,” Ferrentino said. “But over 10 years, the upgrades will pay for themselves.”

Ferrentino also told the board that he had checked several references and all gave positive feedback on Ameresco and its services.

The college’s Board of Trustees approved a contract with Ameresco on Tuesday.

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