Sustainability Hacks: Find School District Energy Savings in Under 6 Months by Implementing These 3 Simple Practices
By Jack Bullock
Chief Engineer, PE, CEM, BESA
Implementing an energy management program in your school district can achieve energy savings. This is a simple principle of energy-efficient upgrades and small changes to the types of assets running and their scheduled run time. However, it is possible to find additional school district energy savings through hard work and dedication to the goal. In other words, superintendents and school board members should look for school district energy savings within six months by understanding the high cost of today’s school energy use and following these three simple steps.
The High Cost of School Energy Use
The high cost of school energy use is a significant factor affecting the decision to invest in an energy management program. K-12 schools in the U.S. spend more than $1 billion annually on energy use, and as energy costs continue to increase, securing funding for the expansion of facilities and supplies will grow more difficult. The average electricity rate has increased more than 50 percent over the last decade, so it is in the best interest of your district to make changes necessary to reduce energy use.
Changing Behaviors Affecting Energy Use Is Crucial to School District Energy Savings
The first step to reducing energy use in achieving school district energy savings is the most important and easiest. "Turn things off when not in use." This statement reflects the need to encourage changes in the energy use behaviors in building occupants, including faculty and students. Unnecessary runtime of facility assets, including the HVAC system, lights, computers, and cell phone charging stations will only add to the total energy used by your facility. At the same time, students should be encouraged to take advantage of natural resources, such as natural light, and they should conserve energy where possible. For instance, students should make sure exterior doors are appropriately shut, turn the water off as soon as they finish washing their hands and more. Creating this culture of energy efficiency is crucial to reducing school energy use.
Technology Empowers School Districts to Understand Energy Use
The introduction of technology into school district energy management will have another profound impact on energy use as well. Technology gives school districts the ability to track energy use and understand the assets and factors contributing to it. As schools evolve and become more concerned over budgets, more districts will look to invest in technology to understand energy use and make meaningful changes.
Get Dedicated Resources to Track and Manage Your Energy Management Program
The final and most significant step in implementing an energy management program is taking advantage of dedicated resources. Although energy use behavioral change can have the most significant impact on energy use, it is only a fraction of the whole picture. In a sense, both technology and changes in energy behaviors are part of a comprehensive list of resources and practices to track, manage and enhance your energy management program. As a result, more schools will look to outsource energy management program providers, such as Cenergistic, which offer these benefits:
Help to direct staff how to model energy use behaviors.
Leveraging technology to prove school district energy savings and performance.
An embedded Energy Specialist to guarantee cost avoidance.
Support for upgrades, new construction, and future planning when necessary.
Put These Practices in Action Today for Maximum School District Energy Savings
School district energy savings can be maximized by putting the three top practices into action today. Instead of waiting around for available funding, school districts should consider investing in an energy management partner that does not charge an upfront fee, such as Cenergistic. Instead of trying to put these practices into action with limited staff and resources, let Cenergistic augment your team. Find out how by visiting Cenergistic online or contacting us at 1-855-798-7779 today.