McDonell Area Catholic Schools
Chippewa Falls, WI
McDonell Area Catholic Schools (MACS) was originally introduced to the Focus on Energy program through the Small Business program. MACS had Meyers Electric LLC (a registered Focus on Energy Trade Ally) perform the Small Business audits in several buildings and implemented several lighting upgrades as a result.
Digging even deeper for energy savings, MACS officials contacted Focus on Energy’s Agriculture, Schools & Government Program. An Energy Advisor met with Bob Konop (MACS Controller) and maintenance/custodial staff at McDonell High School and performed a walk-through of the school and also had discussions about some of the smaller buildings in the district. The group also looked over utility and energy usage history. After a closer look, several energy savings projects with a good savings and a relatively short payback period were presented to the Board for MACS.
School officials were given the approval to proceed with a few of the projects and began to seek proposals from Trade Allies in the area, always keeping their Energy Advisor in the loop to be sure they would qualify for the valuable incentives. Bartingale Mechanical Inc. out of Eau Claire was awarded a fairly comprehensive upgrade project that involved a custom controls incentive that was pre-approved in 2014 and paid out in 2015, along with several other projects that are nearing completion. The other projects included lighting controls (occupancy sensors and daylight harvesting) in several areas of the high school along with adding VFDs to several HVAC pumps and fans.
MACS is also in the process of replacing the existing T8 lamps with reduced wattage lamps in several buildings including the high school. The school district is also securing bids from another area Trade Ally (H&R Electric, Jake Hepfler), who is also a MACS alum.
MACS has also benefitted from Xcel Energy's 2015 matching incentive bonus that allows a direct match of Focus on Energy incentives, up to $5000/meter for accounts that are less than 200 kW demand.
Focus on Energy’s relationship with MACS is indeed a strong success story. Previously, they didn’t know much about Focus on Energy or how to participate in programs. In the last two years, they have begun to implement many energy saving projects as their budget allows. They plan on doing more in the future.