Linc Services cuts school system’s energy costs

HOUSTON — Linc Services is implementing a bundled energy solutions project for the Department of Education in Harris County, Texas, that will save $5.4 million over the next 10 years.

HOUSTON — Linc Services is implementing a bundled energy solutions project for the Department of Education in Harris County, Texas, that will save $5.4 million over the next 10 years.

The project, which was presented to the HCDE’s Board of Education last December and began in January, will reduce energy consumption in nine buildings. The scope of work covers the installation of new HVAC units, centralized control systems and high efficiency lighting, as well as water savings technology and solar energy solutions. Linc will also provide the necessary energy reduction to help the HCDE comply with State House Bill 3693.

The program also includes monitoring, recording and posting utility consumption on a customized Web site. During the 10-year life of the project, the HCDE will save more than 36% on the existing utility budget and more than 29% on the HVAC operating budget. The upgrades are being financed through the existing operating budget, eliminating the need for new taxpayer funds.

“We are very excited to be providing this self-funding program for the Harris County Department of Education,” said Linc Services' Senior Vice President Doug Smyers. “Since the project pays for itself using the existing operating budget, there are no additional costs to the taxpayers and no risks to the HCDE. This program is a win-win for everyone.”

Prior to starting the project, Linc’s energy experts surveyed HCDE buildings to analyze existing HVAC, controls, lighting and water equipment. They also collected utility bills and compiled operating costs to compare them with national benchmarks. This process enabled Linc to present the HCDE with a comprehensive energy program, which will ensure that the savings can pay for the infrastructure improvements.

"Going green is an objective toward which all schools are striving, and now we’ve put a project in place that will help us achieve that goal,” said Les Hooper, executive director of facilities support services for Harris County. “The age of the equipment in our facilities was not allowing for peak operational efficiency, so we’re looking forward to the energy and operational savings that Linc will provide with newer systems.”

Linc Services also plans to help the HCDE achieve certification from Energy Star, which scores the energy performance of commercial and industrial facilities on a 1-100 scale, with those facilities achieving a score of 75 or higher being eligible for the Energy Star distinction.

“In today’s economy, public schools are facing many challenges to operating their facilities,” said Linc Network President and CEO Scott Giacobbe. “This project shows how Linc can help customers in the education market save money and improve comfort for students and faculty. Our solutions are very green and environmentally friendly as well.”