The Barat Academy Board of Directors has committed to a range of upgrades to the school’s facilities that save energy, conserve water and harness renewable energy. The upgrades are expected to save the private college preparatory school more than 48% a year in energy costs.
Barat Academy recently converted the entire school campus to LED lighting with planning assistance from Indoff Energy Solutions of St. Louis.
According to SpecGrade LED, LED lighting in classrooms has been shown to reduce eye strain and enhance learning by generating light that is less harsh and closer to natural lighting conditions. LED lights generate the same illumination at less than 50% of the operating energy cost as traditional fluorescent school lights, and they are constructed from substances that do not expose students to hazardous materials. They also generate less excess heat than other light sources and thus reduce the strain on a school’s aging cooling systems.
Barat utilized generous rebates for energy efficiency through Ameren power company, and financing options through Missouri’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program and Ygrene to fund the LED lighting project.
The PACE program allows local government entities to raise enough money through the issuance of bonds or other sources of capital to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects to eligible property owners. Ygrene’s award-winning PACE program provides 100 percent, no money down PACE financing to help property owners make cost-effective energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, safety and storm protection improvements to residential, multifamily, commercial and agricultural buildings.
In November, Barat Academy plans to install a high-efficiency HVAC system throughout the school, utilizing PACE financing and Ameren rebates.
“Named as one of the Top 20 “World Changing” ideas by Scientific American magazine, PACE financing and Ygrene is an easy and effective way for non-profits schools to finance a range of upgrades that allow Barat to save energy and improve our teaching and learning environment,” said Debby Watson, President of Barat Academy.
Barat Academy is the only private, independent, Catholic co-ed high school in St. Louis that offers single gender classes. The school is founded in the traditions of Sacred Heart education. For more information about Barat Academy, visit www.baratacademy.org