programs SECO

Preliminary Energy Assessments for Schools

SECO provides preliminary energy assessments (PEAs) at no charge to K-12 public schools and independent school districts. A PEA details recommendations for cost-effective resource efficiency measures that could be implemented to reduce utility consumption or utility costs.

SECO's PEA services apply to public, indoor administrative or teaching facilities and infrastructure owned and operated by the public entity requesting the service. Buildings, facilities or infrastructure that are leased or rented by the entity are not eligible for these services.

Investing in infrastructure through improved energy efficiency in public buildings is a win-win opportunity for both local communities and the state as a whole. Energy-efficient buildings reduce utility costs, increase available capital, spur economic growth and improve working and living environments. PEA services provide a viable strategy to achieve these goals.

A PEA includes the following elements:

  • Analysis of utility bills and other building information to determine facilities' energy and cost utilization indices
  • Recommended maintenance procedures and capital energy retrofits
  • Design and monitoring of customized procedures to control run times of energy-consuming systems
  • Informal on-site training for building operators and maintenance staff
  • Follow-up visits to assist with implementation of recommendations and determine associated project savings
  • Development of an overall energy management policy
  • Assistance with development of guidelines for efficiency levels of future equipment purchases
  • Facility benchmarking using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager

How to Apply

Complete SECO's PEA Request Form and email it to Stephen Ross.

Download PEA Request Form (PDF)

The PEA Process

  • Officials of an eligible public entity submit a completed PEA Request Form. SECO staff contact the officials to schedule an initial meeting with SECO's contracted engineering firm.
  • The public entity's participant authorizes SECO's contractor to access its utility data from utility companies and determine square footage for each facility assessed.
  • The contractor calculates each facility's energy performance and advises the participant of the results. If significant energy-saving potential is identified, a service agreement is sent to the participant for signature, and then a date is set for an on-site visit to inspect selected facilities. If the participant is not interested in proceeding beyond the bill analysis stage, energy cost and utilization indices are forwarded to the participant for its use.
  • If a participant signs the service agreement, the following steps are taken:
    • The participant designates a person to work with SECO and its contractor.
    • The contractor conducts from one to five individual facility walk-through assessments, depending on the number of participant facilities.
    • Based on the preliminary assessment and walk-through findings, the contractor prepares a report identifying energy cost and utilization indices for each participant's facilities, recommended operation and maintenance procedures, capital energy projects, respective returns on investment and available options for project financing.
    • The contractor presents on-site findings and recommendations to the participating entity's governing body, chief executive officer or chief fiscal officer.
    • SECO staff and the contractor remain available to the participant as technical resources for implementing recommended actions and projects for one year from the date of report completion.

In addition to identifying and quantifying major cost-saving opportunities, SECO can work with the participant to identify and evaluate appropriate financing options to implement associated projects.

For more information about PEA services, contact Program Manager Stephen Ross.