Linc Mechanical shows school district how to pay for efficiency upgrades

PITTSBURGH, PA. –– Linc Mechanical LLC here recently completed renovations to the Butler Area School District’s Administrative Building located in Butler, Pa. By utilizing the financial structure designed by Linc Mechanical, the upgrades will be funded through the school’s operating budget. As a byproduct of the energy-efficient upgrades, the district will see a decrease in other operating costs as well as an increase in air quality and comfort for the building’s occupants. The Administrative Building, which underwent renovations nearly 40 years ago, is the last Butler Area School District building to undergo improvements in the past few years.

Linc Mechanical worked closely with the school district through Pennsylvania’s Guaranteed Energy Savings Act (GESA) process, which provides government agencies the means to utilize guaranteed savings from their operating budgets to pay for facility improvements. Districts favor this funding strategy because it’s usually the only alternative to raising local taxes in support of large bond issues.

“The solution we provided the Butler Area School District is much more comprehensive than a normal guaranteed energy savings program,” said Kevin Kovak, general manager of Linc Mechanical LLC. “Linc Mechanical and the school district co-authored a funding plan that allowed the district to address the needs of the administrative building through a reallocation of a portion of the general operating budget which represented the savings guaranteed by Linc. We assessed the district’s list of needed improvements and identified a variety of different funding sources then structured a transparent financial solution which allowed the district to achieve the results they desired without increased taxpayer or general fund burden.”

The renovations to the Administrative Building addressed the district’s key facility concerns and included the installation of new high efficient boilers, an air conditioning system, energy-efficient lighting and a building automation system. The program also funded esthetic improvements like interior paint, thermal pane windows, roof, carpeting and new ceiling finishes.

“It has been great working with Linc Mechanical on this project. The improvements Linc has completed on the administrative building are estimated to reduce our operating expenses by 71 percent,” said Dr. Edward Fink, Superintendent of the Butler Area School District. “These savings will help provide us with extra funding to reinvest into the district. Also, there will be no burden on the tax payer due to Linc’s public finance acumen.”

Several local businesses played an instrumental role in the successful completion of the project, including Tico Electric, Window Systems Inc. and United Plate Glass. In addition, Reno Brothers, a Linc Service franchisee, located near the school district, provided assistance with the mechanical installations.

As an Energy Star partner, Linc Mechanical will assist the Butler Area School District in obtaining Energy Star certification for the newly renovated Administrative Building. Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. According to Energy Star, buildings achieving a rating of 75 or higher and professionally verified to meet current indoor environment standards are eligible to apply for the Energy Star certification.