Connecticut’s New Haven Public School District is comprised of four elementary schools, one middle school and one comprehensive high school for a total of approximately 3,150 students. Like many school districts across the country, New Haven schools were not immune to shifting priorities—and increasingly difficult budget discussions. To maintain a robust and well-qualified staff and to meet student achievement and contractual standards and obligations, administrators had to sharpen pencils and evaluate resources within each of its 6 schools. One cost-saving measure that has proven to be beneficial on paper and in practice—allowing the District to realize a cost-savings and the added benefit of sustainability—has been the implementation of cogeneration technology, also known as Combined Heat and Power, or CHP.
CHP systems create heat and electricity from one fuel source in an environmentally sustainable way, making them ideal for educational facilities of all sizes and types, from K–12 school districts, community colleges, boarding schools and large colleges and universities, especially those with large sports complexes. New Haven schools have high thermal demands including conditioning classrooms and common spaces, and domestic hot water and pool heating. CHP systems from Dalkia’s Aegis, EDF Group helped to maintain pleasant temperatures in all of these spaces, at a considerable savings over previous heating and electric solutions.
In the first year after project completion, the New Haven School District realized a savings of over $166,000 in operating expenses from the CHP systems, one in each building. Since 2010, the school district has saved more than $765,000 in electric and thermal expenses. What’s more—by taking advantage of Shared Savings financing program offered by Dalkia, no capital investments or operating expenses were required up front. This shift allowed for a greater focus on technology offerings, a priority of the Superintendent and New Haven administrators.