[Excerpts courtesy GONGWER News Service]
Jeff Westhoven, Chief of Facility and Program Services for the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission recenty testified in front of the House Education Committee. He said the bill would make changes to the reporting requirements tied to the School Energy Conservation Program. The program, which allows districts to incur debt for building improvements that would be paid back by the savings realized through the energy efficiency upgrades, has recently required districts to begin reporting the savings realized and to guarantee such savings, he said.
The bill would require annual reports to be in a form and manner set by OFCC, which the witness said makes it simple, fair and consistent for reporting savings across all projects. The MBR also removes the requirement for third-party certification of the annual report, which would reduce unnecessary administrative costs to districts.
Mr. Westhoven said the bill would shorten the annual reporting period to three years to reduce costs and administrative burdens on districts. Since the success of a program can typically be determined in the first one to three years of a program, the current annual reporting over the full term of the contract is unnecessary.
The MBR would allow the commission to create rules for competitively selecting an energy contractor. At the time the program began in 1986, there were few contractors to choose from, but there is now competition in the field. More companies would have the opportunity to compete for the construction projects and would ensure a better value for taxpayers, he said.
View the bill text: http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=130_HB_487