Energy contract could save Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District millions

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The energy performance contract, Seeba stressed, would carry no cost for the district. If it fell short of its energy-saving projections, the energy service company would pay the district the difference, he said.

The Central District must issue a request for proposals from energy service companies, which would bid on the project. In addition to Johnson Controls, such companies include Con Edison and Honeywell, among others. The Board of Education would then select a company to undertake the energy-saving work. The New York State Department of Education must sign off on any EPC.

Cynthia Regal, the Central District’s deputy superintendent for business, said that Bellmore-Merrick signed an energy performance contract to upgrade its lighting several years ago, resulting in savings. It then upgraded its heating systems, paying for the improvements through the budget. So, for many years, energy service company representatives said they felt there wasn’t a great deal of additional savings to be reaped in Bellmore-Merrick through another EPC. New, state-of-the-art energy-saving technologies, however, could bring significant savings, Regal said.

It is critical, both DeTommaso and Regal said, to keep the proposed bond — and thus property taxes — at the lowest possible level. Regal said it is particularly important because Bellmore-Merrick has not bonded to fund a capital project since Kennedy High School was built in 1966. The Central District, she said, has no debt, which she noted is unusual for a district as large as Bellmore-Merrick.

If all goes well, the district could bring a bond proposal to a public vote in November or December, said Roger Smith, also of BBS Architects, at the July 24 Board of Education meeting. Right now, the board is reviewing plans for a possible bond. Public meetings are expected in September.

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