Mississippi's Monroe County School District Selects Ameresco for an Energy Saving Performance Contract

Ameresco's first K-12 project in Mississippi will enable the school district to make significant infrastructure upgrades without raising taxes or impacting its budget

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Ameresco, Inc., (NYSE:AMRC), a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company, announced today that it has signed an energy saving performance contract (ESPC) with Monroe County School District (MCSD) to complete a major energy efficiency project for six schools and facilities totaling 368,000 square feet. As part of its first K-12 project in Mississippi, Ameresco will implement measures to increase energy efficiency and upgrade important facility systems on a budget-neutral basis, which will in turn save energy, reduce costs and reduce the School District's carbon footprint.

"Our District Administration and School Board are excited about the opportunity to improve our facilities through a performance contract with Ameresco," said Scott Cantrell, Superintendent of Education, Monroe County School District. "Due to recent cuts in state education funding directly related to the nation's faltering economy, we needed an innovative method of making much needed facility improvements, without allocating additional funding from our already strapped budget. The performance contracting concept will allow us to do just that. We feel these facility upgrades will translate into positives not only in our student learning environment, but also within our various communities as stakeholders see our District investing in the future of our school system."

Ameresco was able to work with MCSD to achieve low interest rate financing that didn't impact their budget and was 100 percent self-funded. American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) stimulus funding provided 25 percent of total costs associated with the performance contract, with the other 75 percent being funded through a tax-exempt lease and paid for out of guaranteed energy savings. Ameresco has guaranteed $90,470 in energy savings for the first year of the twelve year program. Ameresco was selected to work with MCSD through a competitive bid process.

In order to leverage state and federal incentives, Ameresco and experts at the State of Mississippi Development Authority's (MDA) Energy Office provided valuable assistance to MCSD by helping to administer the paperwork associated with ARRA requirements. The project captures some additional incentive funds from the local utility which includes $200 per kW saved for lighting and HVAC installations.

"It has been a privilege to work with Superintendent Cantrell and the School Board to implement the first school project for Ameresco in Mississippi," said William Skosky, Vice President, Ameresco. "This well planned project reflects the direct feedback from the District, the Superintendent and the faculty at Monroe County Schools. They wanted to make sure this project would succeed in providing needed improvements to the facilities that would produce a more effective and safe learning environment while also promoting energy and environmental awareness within their community. They also wanted to make sure that this was a project that they could afford to do in such difficult economic times, which was achieved through the ESPC."

Six schools and facilities in Monroe County will undergo renovations and retrofits to improve energy and operational efficiency for the District. Initiatives include boiler replacements, lighting upgrades and water conservation measures. The Monroe County School District facilities that are receiving upgrades are the Advanced Learning Center on Highway 25 South, Hamilton School, Hatley School, Smithville School, the Vocational/Technical Center on Airport Road, and a district bus garage.

Monroe County School District recently received a "High Performing" accreditation rating from the Mississippi Department of Education.

About Ameresco, Inc.

Ameresco, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware in April 2000 and is a leading independent provider of comprehensive energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for facilities throughout North America. Ameresco's solutions include upgrades to a facility's energy infrastructure, and the development, construction, and operation of renewable energy plants. With corporate headquarters located in Framingham, Mass., Ameresco has 55 offices in 29 states and four Canadian provinces. For more information, visit www.ameresco.com.

    Source: Ameresco, Inc.