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Four Michigan schools, City of Marquette honored for energy efficiency results using performance contracts

Exterior of International Academy of Flint building. Photo courtesy of the school.Five building projects in Michigan that used performance contracts to reduce energy waste were honored at the Energy Services Coalition -- Michigan Chapter's annual awards.

Performance contracts enable building owners to leverage future energy savings to finance energy-saving projects, eliminating the need to dip into capital budgets.

Awardees include the City of Marquette, International Academy of Flint, Oakridge Public School District, Flint Community Schools, and Shelby Public School District. These building upgrades include lighting systems improvements, HVAC system replacements, building envelope improvements, and many others which addressed inefficient systems which in many cases are also nearing end of their useful lives.

This arrangement is particularly suited to large buildings or a group of buildings including city, county, and state buildings; schools; hospitals; commercial office buildings; and multifamily buildings.

Interest in using performance contracts to finance energy-saving projects is growing in Michigan, according to Jake Wilkinson, an engineer at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), a sponsor of the event.

Since 2011, local governments, state government, counties, K-12 schools, universities, hospitals, and others have invested more than $240 million through performance contracts, resulting in annual energy cost savings of over $16 million.

The five winners of this year's Leadership in Energy Efficiency invested more than $47.7 million in building system upgrades and are projected to save over $3,000,000 in energy costs per year over the lifespan of the improvements.

Flint Community Schools, for example, completed significant upgrades to 11 buildings. These upgrades include interior and exterior lighting upgrades, significant building automation control and energy management systems replacements and additions, district-wide mechanical system replacements, water conservation improvements, and building envelope improvements. Student comfort in this learning environment was enhanced, and carbon dioxide emissions were cut by over 2,148 tons annually.

Flint Community Schools and the other winners are shining examples of what can be accomplished through performance contracts, and they are helping Michigan achieve its energy waste reduction goals.

Contact EGLE's Jake Wilkinson for more information on performance contracts at

Caption: Exterior of International Academy of Flint building. Photo courtesy of the school.

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