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Morrow County School District taps into savings through energy-efficiency upgrades

Improves learning environment for students with Energy Trust of Oregon support

Heppner, Ore. — August 20, 2014 — Morrow County School District announced it will save an estimated $20,965 per year through energy-efficiency upgrades recently completed at two of its schools. With expertise and cash incentives from Energy Trust of Oregon, the school district implemented an HVAC Direct Digital Control tune-up to improve two academic buildings in the district, lower overall energy use and reduce the district’s direct operating expenses.

Energy Trust provided energy analysis through Ameresco Quantum, the vendor for the technical study and has studies underway for four more academic buildings in the district. The completed study identified issues within the school district’s HVAC system, both in control settings and improperly functioning equipment. Siemens performed the HVAC tune-up and equipment replacement.

The project has an estimated payback period of less than two months, when combined with the cash incentives provided by Energy Trust, and annual savings of $20,965 in energy costs. Morrow County School District expects to save 14,093 therms of natural gas each year — energy equal to heating 28 homes for a year.

“As we continue to see expenditures increase, from textbooks to electricity, it’s tremendously important to save every penny,” said Dirk Dirksen, superintendent, Morrow County School District. “Working with vendors and Energy Trust to receive cash incentives for the energy-efficiency upgrades provided us with a cost-effective way to reduce installation costs now and save on energy and energy costs for years to come. We realize the direct benefit this will have on students in enhancing their learning environment.”

Morrow County School District is also looking into implementing more energy-efficiency projects in the classroom environment of four of the district’s schools.

“Without the help of independent nonprofits such as Energy Trust, to provide both the expertise and the savings opportunities, projects like these would not be possible in our rural area school district,” added Dirksen. “We look forward to working with Energy Trust in the future to identify and implement more energy-saving opportunities for our schools.”

“Energy Trust supported more than 180 schools with nearly $1 million in cash incentives and technical assistance for energy-efficiency projects installed last year,” said Oliver Kesting, commercial sector lead, Energy Trust. “We’re pleased to be helping schools reduce energy costs so they can invest those dollars in the classroom.” Since 2002, Energy Trust has provided $6.5 million in cash incentives to help Oregon k-12 schools make energy-efficiency improvements.

Morrow County schools, in partnership with families and communities, provide each student the opportunity to develop values, knowledge, skills and self-confidence to become life-long learners and responsible citizens. Morrow County School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, age, gender, veteran status, or genetic profiling in providing employment, education or access to education services, activities and programs in accordance with Title II, Title VI, Title IX and other civil rights and discrimination issues;  Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended; and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and generating renewable power. Our services, cash incentives and energy solutions have helped participating customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas save $1.7 billion on energy bills. Our work helps keep energy costs as low as possible, creates jobs and builds a sustainable energy future. Learn more at or call 1-866-368-7878.

Category: Commercial/Not-for-profit