Amesbury Public Schools Reduces Operational Costs

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Amesbury Public Schools and Guardian Energy Management Solutions work to reduce operational costs through energy efficiency projects. Amesbury is on track to save $50,000 in utility costs and targets additional projects that will yield over $100,000 in savings.

I believe that we have just scratched the surface in working with Guardian, and as a resident of Amesbury, I can’t express how excited I am to be part of this. We’ve achieved $50,000 in cost savings so far, but there’s more to come.

Public schools across Massachusetts continue to face massive budget cuts or a zero budget increase. The impact on schools has been significant. Some schools are facing cuts to curriculum, teachers and student resources. In many cases, a schools physical infrastructure continues to age and become more costly to maintain.

Brad Ford, the Director of Operations for Amesbury Public Schools, has been responsible for the schools day to day maintenance and overall building operations for 6 years. In April of 2010, Chip Goudreau, the Director of Energy Management Solutions for Guardian Energy Management Solutions and Brad Ford met to discuss how Amesbury Public Schools could leverage energy efficiency upgrades to reduce operational costs.

“When Brad and I first met, we discussed the challenges that Brad faced on a daily basis. Brad knows his buildings. He knew there were opportunities to save money and was deeply committed to making a difference. The challenge he faced was documenting the overall costs, identifying specific savings opportunities, and developing the return on investment. My goal became pretty clear; to work as a partner and help the school district develop a plan that would meet the needs of their community.” said Chip Goudreau.

The first challenge was related to the lighting in the gymnasiums and other areas for the High School, Middle School and Cashman Elementary School. Guardian determined that the existing lighting system could be upgraded to a new energy efficiency system, and the project would save Amesbury Public Schools more than $16,000 annually. But, the next step was perhaps the greatest hurdle: how to obtain funding for the project in an environment where funds were hard to come by.

Guardian turned to National Grid’s Energy Efficiency Program for assistance. Guardian submitted all paperwork and performed a walk through with National Grid’s representative to discuss the project. In turn, National Grid reviewed Guardian’s findings and rewarded Amesbury with an energy efficiency incentive that covered more than 40% of the total project cost. The balance of the cost was then financed at 0% interest with equal payments over a 24 month period. In fact, the schools were saving money the day the new lighting systems were installed. After a 24 month period, the school district would then realize the full $16,000 per year in savings.

“Energy efficiency projects are a key strategy for Amesbury.” Said Brad Ford, “We are now on our third project with Guardian, and each project continues to pay for itself in a very short time line while providing a substantial cost savings for our tax payers. There are so many opportunities for Amesbury at our school buildings. I think we are all excited to take advantage of these energy efficiency programs to help reduce our costs.”

In August 2011, Guardian installed new LED lighting for the High School parking lot. The savings? Over $10,000 annually. Mr. Ford and Guardian then turned their sights on Cashman Elementary School, which was in need of new lighting through the entire school. Guardian determined that new lighting would not only save money, but provide better lighting for faculty, students and staff. The annual cost savings? Over $24,000 annually.

Mr. Ford went on to say, “This is just a tremendous opportunity and one that the town should take full advantage of. I believe that we have just scratched the surface in working with Guardian, and as a resident of Amesbury, I can’t express how excited I am to be part of this. We’ve achieved $50,000 in cost savings so far, but there’s more to come.”

About the Town of Amesbury and Amesbury Public Schools

Amesbury is located 40 miles north of Boston, MA. It has a population of approximately 16,200 residents and was established as a city in 1996. Amesbury Public Schools consists of 2 Elementary Schools, 1 middle school and 1 high school. The full time enrollment for all students grades k-12 is approximately 2400 students. For more information, please visit:

About Guardian Energy Management Solutions

Guardian Energy Management Solutions is an energy management company that provides turn-key services for commercial and municipal building operators that wish to reduce their energy consumption through energy efficiency projects. Guardian provides energy studies, planning, design, engineering, installation, project management and support services for its customers, and has experience in the Massachusetts Green Communities program. For more information, please visit: or you can contact Chip Goudreau at chipg(at)guardian(hyphen)energy(dot)com


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