Energy Management Program for School Districts: If Your District Doesn't Have One You May Be Throwing Money Away

An effective energy management program for school districts should reduce energy costs, improve the energy use behaviors among faculty and students and prove the program's value. Schools that have not implemented an energy management program are losing money, and implementing an energy management program for school districts may have zero upfront investment costs. School districts need to understand the value of an energy management program and how to reap greater benefit from it.

The Costs of Avoiding Use of an Energy Management Program for School Districts

The costs of merely avoiding the energy management program discussion are significant and closely mirror the costs of developing an in-house program. These include:

  • Poor budget management

  • Increased frequency of asset malfunction

  • Cascading equipment failures

  • Meager time management

  • Poor aggregation and analysis of data, if any

  • Costly implementation of energy-efficiency improvements

Actual costs may vary by school, size and student population. However, research from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests schools may spend an average of 95-percent more across these factors than those that do not implement energy management programs. Of course, schools that do not implement such programs spend approximately 25-percent more for energy-specific costs, referring to utility bills, than their counterparts.

Benefits of a Strong Energy Management Program in School Settings

An active energy management program in school districts offers significant benefits that are the opposite of its costs. This includes better budget planning and use, improved asset longevity, coordination of asset runtime, better use of labor resources, application of data to make informed decisions and low-upfront investment costs. In addition, energy use behavioral changes among students have a lasting impact beyond their years in school. Eco-conscious students become eco-conscious adults, further improving the condition of the globe and reducing energy waste. It's the ultimate win-win for educators.

How to Reap the Greatest Value From Your School's Energy Management Program

As explained by the EPA school districts working toward energy-efficiency goals should follow these steps:

  1. Gain support from faculty, students and school board members for an energy management program. Before beginning an energy management program, it is essential to building a business case that demonstrates the program's value.

  2. Benchmark energy use. Benchmarking energy use provides an important measure of current energy costs, which can be used for forecasting future costs if behaviors are left unchecked.

  3. Set clear, achievable goals. Any successful program must be broken into small, achievable steps. While reducing energy costs is the explicit goal, setting small goals, like reducing HVAC system runtime, will help achieve a more significant, overarching goal without the added stress.

  4. Implement the action plan. The action plan must be specific to your facilities. This is another area where an On-Site Energy Specialist that Cenergistic provides to all of our K-12 and higher learning customers can help in developing and implementing your plan to achieve a faster ROI.

  5. Evaluate progress. Success needs to be measured to know what initiatives have the greatest results. This is a combined use of reactive, predictive and prescriptive analytics.

  6. Recognize successes, and never stop improving. Success is great, but recognizing the success by providing rewards to staff and students will further drive positive energy use behaviors.

Stop Losing Money by Developing Foundation for Your Energy Management Solution

The foundation of an energy management program for school districts begins with collecting data and making changes that work for your district. Instead of trying to do it all in-house, consider partnering with an expert, such as Cenergistic, for energy monitoring and management. Also, an On-Site Energy Specialist will be available to help you make decisions that drive returns and navigate the complexities of a data-based, energy-efficiency strategy. Get started today by visiting Cenergistic online.

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