Ameren Missouri helps school districts improve energy efficiency through BizSavers program

Published on August 18, 2021 by Dave Kovaleski

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Through its BizSavers Program, Ameren Missouri has made cost-saving energy efficiency upgrades to several St. Louis area school districts.

The upgrades, which include brighter classrooms and more efficient heating and cooling systems, will result in significant cost savings for the schools. Since 2018, Missouri schools have saved more than $7.9 million on their energy statements and conserved more than 91 million kWh of electricity as a direct result of energy efficiency upgrades.

Ameren Missouri helped the districts offset costs by providing more than $12.5 million in incentives as part of its BizSavers program. Through this program, Ameren Missouri provides cash incentives for energy efficiency upgrades, such as LED lighting, high efficiency HVAC and refrigeration systems, commercial-grade cooking equipment, motor controls/variable frequency drives, and much more.

One of those districts is the Parkway School District, which earned more than $1.6 million in incentives from Ameren Missouri for completing 218 energy efficiency projects since 2008. The work includes updating thousands of light fixtures to LEDs and replacing old HVAC systems with higher efficiency units. These upgrades will save the district about $1.2 million in annual electricity costs and more than 13.5 million kilowatt-hours (kWh).

“We’ve been working with Ameren Missouri for years to identify significant savings and be more energy-efficient while also having a positive impact on our budget,” Erik Lueders, director of sustainability and purchasing at Parkway School District, said. “The incentive program was a win-win because it helped fund upgrades that will reduce our costs each year, which then enables us to reinvest the money we’re saving into other programs that benefit our students.”

Also, the Hazelwood School District earned $840,000 in cash incentives to upgrade LED lights at 33 buildings, saving the district $685,000 in annual energy costs and reducing energy use by 8.5 million kWh. In addition, the St. Roch Catholic School will save more than $26,000 in electricity costs annually, thanks to lighting and HVAC upgrades made possible from earnings more than $37,000 in incentives.

“We’re proud to help schools save money on their energy statements so they can devote even more resources to provide their students the best education possible,” Rich Wright, manager of energy efficiency at Ameren Missouri, said. “Working with schools of all sizes that are taking advantage of Ameren Missouri’s cash incentives and the annual energy cost savings, we’re able to identify numerous projects that pay for themselves quickly and provide ongoing savings for years to come.”

In addition, the Lincoln County School District earned more than $350,000 in cash incentives from Ameren Missouri by completing 51 projects at 10 school buildings. They updated thousands of fluorescent fixtures to LED lighting, installed advanced HVAC systems to reduce energy waste, and put in new water loop heat pumps and water heaters that use 15 percent less energy.

“By working with Ameren Missouri, we were able to make energy efficiency upgrades that will reduce our energy bill by about $294,000 a year,” Todd Culbertson, assistant superintendent of facilities and operations at Lincoln County, said. “Those savings give us the opportunity to reallocate funding to other areas that can have a significant impact on our students and their education.”