Thursday, October 2, 2014

11 Examples of Energy and Cost Savings at K-12 Schools in the US

In this budget constrained environment schools are always looking to reduce energy demand and save money. From nationwide programs sponsored by the federal government to small scale initiatives from individual schools, energy efficiency and retrofits are the rage in schools all across the US.

According to the government’s EnergyStar program, the nation’s 17,450 K-12 school districts spend more than $6 billion annually on energy, with as much as 30 percent of a typical district’s total energy used inefficiently. So there is a lot of room for savings. Here is a sampling of some of the energy and money that is being saved in the nation's K-12 schools.

1. The US Environmental Protection Agency is helping schools with its Energy Star Low Carbon IT Campaign – an initiative to manage power for school computers. Via this program, US secondary schools, colleges and universities are on track to save $40 million dollars per school year.

2. In 2013 The Clark County School District (CCSD) in Las Vegas, the fifth largest school district in the nation, retrofitted lighting at 152 of the older schools in its 357-school district and is saving $12,500 per day, based on the 180-day school year.

3. In 2011, the Clark County School District in Nevada replaced existing fluorescent lights and ballasts with new T-8 fluorescents and ballasts resulting in a savings of 21.4 million kWh annually since the retrofit, which equates to $2.25 million per year. In fiscal 2012, the district earned $790,000 in utility rebates for reduced electricity use to help offset its approximately $40 million per year utility bill. Besides energy savings, the district will save maintenance dollars since staff doesn’t have to change lighting fixtures in the retrofitted schools for 10 years. Also, the new lights don’t generate as much heat as conventional bulbs, so air conditioning costs are reduced.

4. In 2012, the The Abilene Independent School District in Texas implemented energy conservation management program and saved more than $800,000 in the first year alone.

5. In 2014, the Limestone County School System in Alabama implemented energy upgrades in all of their 14 campuses and through a variety of energy efficiency initiatives they managed to reduce their energy consumption by 22 percent. These initiatives include building automation, lighting, window and door upgrades, water upgrades and smart meters.

6. New Jersey-based Hillsborough Township Public Schools have improved energy efficiency reducing energy use by almost 50 percent thereby reducing the schools cost by about one million dollars per year.

7. The St. Lucie School District’s (SLCSD) in Florida is using ice-enhanced cooling in 15 schools which has reduced its energy costs by between 30 and 40 percent saving the school a total of 5 million dollars.

8. The Bath County Board of Education in Kentucky has enacted energy conservation measures that save the school district nearly $75,000 annually in energy and operational costs.

9. A 2014 initiative in Lincoln Nebraska’s public school system is targeting a 5 percent reduction in electrical usage by integrating its building automation system (BAS) with its facilities management system.

10. The Fort LeBoeuf School District in northwest Pennsylvania is saving more than $160,000 annually with a multi-phase facility enhancement program.

11. The Cabarrus County Schools in Concord, NC, have implemented energy reduction efforts that have saved the school about $687,000 in energy expenses over the past two years which is about ten percent of the school system’s energy budget.

Make sure to see the article titled, "Comprehensive Green School Information and Resources." It contains links to over 200 articles covering everything you need to know about sustainable academics, student's eco-initiatives, green school buildings, and college rankings as well as a wide range of related information and resources.

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