Recently, we’ve received questions about whether a school district is required to seek bids for purchasing or installing energy conservation measures on installment payment or shared-savings contracts. Pursuant to RC 3313.372 and RC 3313.373, the short answer is no, school boards of education are not required to seek competitive bids.

The laws stipulate that a:

“board of education of a city, exempted village, local, or joint vocational school district may enter into an installment payment contract for the purchase and installment of energy conservation measures. The provisions of such installment payment contracts dealing with interest charges and financing terms shall not be subject to the competitive bidding requirements of section 3313.46 of the Revised Code” (emphasis added).

In practice, however, simply because state law does not require such energy conservation measures to be competitively bid, individual school districts may have adopted district-level policies or procedures requiring competitive bidding. Therefore, although the law stipulates that boards may enter such a contract without competitive bidding, each district should review its own policies and procedures before deciding whether acquiring these kinds of energy conservation measures require competitive bidding. OSBA has provided many districts with board policy services and based on our experiences, board policies in this area can – and do – vary considerably.

If you have any questions, please contact the Division of Legal Services. Districts also should work with board counsel to review specific requirements for contracts for energy conservation measures.

Posted by Sara C. Clark on 6/30/2017