INTERVIEW with Assistant Superintendent Jack Mitchell
Why did you decide to do an Energy Performance Contract (EPC)?
I believe in always continuing to learn, so I attend seminars and presentations frequently. My attorney recommended I go to a presentation that ECG happened to be giving with my fiscal advisor. I was so impressed by the benefits to my district that could be gained without the hurdle of going out for a bond referendum that I had to find out more. I quickly realized that an EPC could save us money and also allow for our needed building improvements. An EPC was a big find for us!
What surprised you most about the EPC process?
I think what surprised me the most was the fact that you can have multiple phases. We had done an EPC years prior and I was not sure you could do more work. I learned that you are not limited. Technology changes and you can do more work. That fact is that you can save so much energy! The process is geared to maximize your savings for a lengthy period of time, and the guaranteed savings are huge and real. Real savings and giving your community a greener district is a win!
What is one of the main benefits you and your district received through your EPC?
The main benefit for us is that the community is seeing what we are doing and that it will help lessen the burden to them and reduce the tax impact on the district. They see that we are looking for ways to better the school outside of immediately raising taxes. The guarantee savings means lower budgets and equals no tax impact. As a district administrator, I have to be responsible for my district and the environment. We are providing something that benefits our community and the community pockets in real time.
How was your overall experience with The ECG Group?
My overall experience with ECG is simply put as “white glove service!” They came to me, I didn’t have to go to them… they rolled out the red carpet. They were clear in what they promised to do, went back, did the work and delivered on what they promised to do. They provided the presentations, the plans, the energy calculations. Their project manager was the best. They helped in negotiations and did everything they could to make the district, and myself, look good!
They simply did everything in our best interest. Five Stars.
What advice would you give to other school business officials considering an EPC project?
BE OPEN! Be completely open. There are savings sitting in your buildings. Be open to the ideas and the process and it will pay off. I have two other pieces of advice; 1) You need an Owner’s Representative to help you through and look out for you, and 2) Know that you do not need any type of public vote. Voting is an unknown element. You can get your District savings which is huge.