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Procurement Methods To Consider For Capital Improvement Projects

As school administrators are considering updating or improving their school facilities, there have been questions about ways to procure services and projects. To ensure that our team at Energy Optimizers, USA is providing customers with accurate information, we have worked with Bricker & Eckler’s Legal Construction team to understand the various procurement methods that can be used by Ohio public schools for these projects.


One method of procurement is the LED Lighting and Energy Savings Program established by the Ohio Council of Educational Purchasing Consortia (OCEPC), which encompasses all six of Ohio’s purchasing co-operatives. In 2018, the OCEPC did a national RFQ/RFP for this program and received pricing from multiple firms. Energy Optimizers, USA is the sole vendor for that procurement program and has had the annual contract extended four times.


You can be assured that your project will pass the “Auditor of State” test when you use this program for LED Lighting and other types of energy savings projects. Feel free to talk to your co-op director about the program if you have questions or concerns. None of our customers have had any findings brought against them by the Ohio Auditor of State during their annual audit when using this program.


You may hear from vendors about using other co-ops for procuring these projects, but be cautious. Check first with your local co-op under the OCEPC umbrella before going with a different program.


Some procurement methods whose Ohio authority is granted under ORC 9.48 cannot be used for construction services, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s opinion 2019-028. This opinion states that construction services including roofing, HVAC replacement, and lighting replacements cannot be procured through purchasing co-ops whose authority is granted under ORC 9.48. They may, however, be procured as part of an energy savings project through the OCEPC program, as the competitive bidding process has already been completed and meets the legal standards required.



Another method that can be used for procurement is the Design-Build process, in which the district hires a criteria architect to write the project scope, to ensure that all bidders are working to the same scope. The district then selects a contractor to implement the project, with the contractor obtaining competitive bids for various portions of the project. Energy Optimizers, USA has been awarded a contract for Design-Build projects through the Southwest Ohio Educational Purchasing Co-Op (SWOEPC), which can be used by any member district. Even better, the SWOEPC membership is free for any Ohio school district to join, and the EPC will cover the cost of the criteria architect.


Energy Optimizers, USA, an OACTS Platinum Sponsor, has completed more than $150 million in facility improvement projects with all types of public facilities. We have worked with 170 school districts and career-tech facilities and have saved our customers more than $91 million in energy costs.


We welcome the opportunity to include career-tech students in working on our projects in your buildings, including teaching them to perform an energy audit, lighting installation, and other work that facilitates career readiness. We enjoy showing students what careers in the field of energy savings services (including HVAC, electrical, and construction) can look like.


We will provide all OACTS members with a FREE comprehensive energy audit to guide districts in establishing capital improvement projects and setting project priorities. As one of the few ESCOs in Ohio named by the Federal Department of Energy to the Qualified List of Energy Services Companies (ESCOs), we are uniquely qualified to develop energy savings and facility improvement projects. Can we help you? Contact Belinda Kenley at 937-974-1549 or bkenley@energyoptusa.com.


WRITTEN BY: BELINDA KENLEY, VICE PRESIDENT, ENERGY OPTIMIZERS, USA



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