School district reaps $1.5 million in savings over initial term of solar-plus-efficiency upgrades


A Westchester County, N.Y. school district wedged between the scenic Hudson River waterfront and the New Croton Reservoir took a multi-pronged approach on its path to sustainability.

The Croton-Harmon Union Free School District, an elementary through high school system with 1,600 students in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., reports that it recovered $1.5 million over an 18-month term for an energy savings project that integrates a 350 kW rooftop solar array, LED lighting and temperature control upgrades, as well as HVAC system upgrades to improve the efficiency of its school buildings.

Deployed by energy efficiency company Energia in March 2021, the energy efficiency project provided $188,000 in guaranteed energy savings over its first year in service and eliminated 1,200 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year going forward.

The Croton-Harmon district installed efficiency solutions that include LED lighting, a Direct Digital Control (DCC) thermostat system, building enveloping insulation, boiler burner control upgrades, and steam trap replacements.

Energia installed rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panels across three school buildings yielding over 350 kW of on-site power generation to reduce the district’s utility energy costs, generate revenue and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

“The entire Croton-Harmon School District community will benefit from our modernized facilities and the enhanced learning environment we have created with guidance from the Energia team,” said Stephen Walker, superintendent of the school district. “Energia worked with us every step of the way, from initial project assessment through contractor selection to final walkthrough and evaluation of our facilities.”

Smithtown, N.Y.-based Energia, an energy-savings financial engineering firm with operations in 15 states, deployed the efficiency upgrade solutions with energy services partner Honeywell Building Solutions, a commercial division of consumer products and technology company Honeywell.

The engineer funded the construction of the project upgrades using an energy performance contract or EPC, which enables the school district to pay for the facility upgrades with energy savings produced over time, rather than a lump sum upfront.

According to its website, Energia is a Small Business Association and Women’s Business Enterprise-certified women-operated business. The company has provided engineering, measurement and verification, fuel cell microgrids, solar projects and street light solutions for educational facilities and municipalities around the Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, Arizona and Texas.

In 2019, Energia deployed a 2.36 MW landfill solar project for the City of Waterbury, Conn., as well as upgrades for the city’s Public Schools District, which involved $26 million of solar, backup power generation, LED lighting and HVAC system upgrades.  Energia holds a 20-year lease term for the landfill project, the Mark Lane Landfill, which provides $33,000 per year in lease revenue and generate 3.26 million kWh of energy per year for the city. BQ Energy LLC holds the lease to the Waterbury landfill property and is a developer of brownfield projects.


This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: