OXFORD — The SAD 17 Board of Directors on Monday rescinded its July 15 vote for a $1 million contract with Siemens Building Technologies Inc. for two wood pellet boilers and interior and exterior LED lighting.

Instead, the board voted to enter into a contract for two wood pellet boilers, only at a cost of $752,685.

The move was made after school officials discovered the Qualified School Construction Bonds program approved the $1,024,807 funding, but only OK’d the district’s use of it for the pellet boilers. The board must now submit an amended application to allow part of that funding to be used for the LED lighting.

The project was set to replace oil-fired boilers at Guy E. Rowe School in Norway and Oxford Elementary School and to fund exterior LED lighting at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris and Harrison, Waterford, Otisfield and Oxford elementary schools and interior LED lighting at the high school auditorium, forum and hallways.

Director Nick DiConzo of West Paris, who is on the Operations Committee, said after the meeting that if the amended application for lighting is denied, officials will only finance money for the boilers. An answer on the application is expected in September.

“There is no guarantee we can get the lighting, but there is a guarantee we can get the boilers,” he said. 

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Monday night’s action will permit the district to proceed with the boiler portion of the performance contract immediately.

“This allows us (time) to order the boilers, which need eight to 15 weeks to deliver,” Superintendent Rick Colpitts said.

The new boilers are expected to be ready in time for the next heating season.

Colpitts said in July that the lighting project was projected to save about 136,000 kilowatt hours of electricty; the boilers will save about 25,000 gallons of oil. He said some 200 exterior lights would be converted to LED fixtures as well as 400 interior lights.

School officials began investigating alternative energy projects in 2007, when they hired Siemens to install lighting and other energy-saving devices in the schools.

Under the terms of the performance contracts with Siemens, the company must guarantee savings for the school district each year. If the guarantee is not met, Siemens must reimburse the difference between the guaranteed amount and the actual savings.

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In 2007, officials said the projects demonstrated a 17 to 30 percent reduction in annual energy consumption and an annual cost savings of $247,942.

In 2008, SAD 17 realized $327,000 in energy savings in one year under its contract with Siemens Building Technologies.

By 2012, Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School had a biomass boiler installed. Officials decided the savings was enough to investigate using pellet boilers at other schools.

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