Energy Savings at Collington

Summary of the Proposed Collington-Ecosave Partnership
By The Sustainability Group
October 2015

The Sustainability Group (formerly the Green Subcommittee) has been concerned for some time about the need to reduce campus-wide energy consumption. But there’s never been enough money for the costly energy upgrade Collington needs to accomplish such a change.

But now Collington and the Kendal Corporation have found a way to significantly reduce our energy consumption through an Energy Performance Contract with Ecosave, an Australian company with US headquarters at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The Kendal Corporation has worked with Ecosave at Chandler Hall which is another CCRC affiliated with Kendal. Collington will be the second Kendal location to contract with Ecosave.

What is an Energy Performance Contract?
Two parties: (1) an Energy Services Company and (2) a facility that needs to replace its obsolete, wasteful, energy-guzzling equipment. The Energy Company agrees to pay for and install, energy-efficient equipment that will result in a significant reduction in the facility’s annual operating costs. The Energy Company guarantees annual energy savings. The facility uses these savings to repay the Energy Company. If the guaranteed savings are not achieved in any given year, the Energy Company makes up the shortfall. That in a nutshell is the type of contract Collington is negotiating with Ecosave.

Ecosave will pay about 2/3 of the cost to purchase and install new energy-efficient equipment, with Collington paying the balance. In addition to its upfront costs, Ecosave will be providing maintenance and management services for the duration of a 15-year contract. In each of the 15 years, the amount of savings Ecosave guarantees exceeds the amount Collington will be required to pay Ecosave for its initial investment and ongoing services. The entire upgrade will occur without the need for Collington to borrow more money from the banks because Collington will be paying for this major upgrade from operating revenue. It should be noted, however, that Collington will need to establish replacement reserves to cover expenses that this project will entail beyond its obligations to Ecosave.

What Energy Upgrades will be made at Collington?
Many changes, large and small, are needed to bring efficiency to Collington’s obsolete physical plant.

  • Over 6,000 light fixtures are to be retrofitted with LED lighting throughout the campus
  • New efficient heating and cooling equipment is to be installed in the main building,
  • We’ll have a natural gas-fired co-generation plant
  • The heating and cooling in the main building will be managed by a web-based system that will allow for monitoring and troubleshooting 24/7
  • Ecosave will provide energy management and training for Collington staff

How Will The 15-Year Contract Be Managed?
Fifteen years is a long time. Fortunately, the Kendal Corporation will be involved over the long term to make sure the Collington-Ecosave contract is properly managed. When it comes to something as complex as this, we are incredibly fortunate to be a Kendal affiliate.

Have Residents Had Any Input?
Larry Harris, Peter Pfund, Murray Newman and Mike McCulley were researching and recommending this type of contract almost two years ago with local companies, but it was not until Kendal came along with Ecosave that Collington could see its way clear to moving forward.

Now we are all on the same page. The entire Sustainability Group met in August with the CEO and other staff members of Ecosave, along with Marvell Adams, for a presentation about this proposal. The Ecosave people answered all our questions, and afterward, every single member of our committee was in favor of the proposal. Subsequently, eight of us spent hours reviewing the draft Ecosave proposal and we submitted comments, questions, and some concerns to Marvell. He has answered some of our questions and is seeking answers to others from Ecosave. Meanwhile, both Collington’s attorney and auditor are now reviewing the proposal and we expect it to be finalized by the end of the year.

Members of the Sustainability Group who spent the time required to review this complex proposal are listed below. Any one of them should be able to help if you have questions about the proposed Collington-Ecosave partnership: Bessie Carrington, Sara Case, Karl Edler, Art Krueger, Mike McCulley,, Peter Pfund, Ellen Stamelos

If you would like to see the Ecosave proposal’s executive summary that provides some additional detail, click here.