Carson City School District Partners with McKinstry on Energy Improvements

CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Carson City School District (CCSD) has a number of projects on the agenda for the upcoming school year that will include a district-wide retrofit with energy-efficiency improvements. To accomplish this, CCSD is partnering with McKinstry, a national energy consulting firm based in Seattle, in a two-year energy-performance contract that is expected to show $350,000 in savings annually on district energy usage over the next 18 years. Installation of the energy-saving measures began in June and should be completed by the first of October.

CCSD hired McKinstry in May of 2016 to perform a district-wide audit of all school facilities to look for energy-saving measures. This audit, paid for by the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy (GOE) Performance Contract Audit Assistance Program, identified potential improvements that would save the district in utility and operational costs. The planned improvements will allow for more even heating and cooling of classrooms, improvement of overall ventilation, improved light quality and better functioning of equipment with fewer repairs. Among the targeted improvements is the replacement of existing light bulbs with LED technology.

The CCSD operations department is currently tasked with changing nearly every bulb in the district to energy-efficient LED lighting — part of a $6 million undertaking financed through McKinstry, according to Mark Korinek, CCSD operations director, in a recent interview with “The energy side is over $2 million of LED light retrofit at every school in the district,” said Korinek.

The district’s LED upgrade is expected to save 1.4 million kilowatt hours after about 26,000 new bulbs are installed. In addition to updating all light fixtures, the district’s improvements will include water conservation measures meant to reduce waste and usage. McKinstry has estimated that about 4.5 million gallons of water will be saved with the planned upgrades. Additionally, three elementary schools will be receiving trash compactors to help reduce the volume of garbage.

These upgrades are part of a series of improvements that the school has made over the years to improve on energy expenditures and to currently have the lowest energy expenditures of any other public school district in the state, according to The Nevada Department of Education. The school’s current energy-usage rating as measured by the energy usage index (EUI) is 46. The school intends to lower that rating into the thirties, which is “almost unheard of,” according to Korinek.