As energy costs are dramatically rising, schools are looking to cut their annual utility bills by hiring top energy consultants, one of which is Energy Education. In a recent article in the New York Times, they highlight the top consultants that are helping school cut back on their costs. Energy Education uses a checklist of 1,200 items — and then custom-design conservation programs. Such programs have helped NYC schools decrease their spending by 20-60%. These savings also help foot the cost of expensive equipment that need to be invested in, which gets paid back in a short amount of time – and then the savings start to add up, winning many of these school districts the coveted Energy Star Award.
Excerpt from the article:
“Schools, once known as energy wasters, are embracing conservation in increasing numbers. A desire to practice the environmentally friendly principles discussed in classrooms has been heightened by soaring energy costs and tighter budgets. With the help of a growing industry of energy consultants, school officials are evaluating every detail of their daily operations, like the temperature of the swimming pool and the amount of electricity the cafeteria ovens use, and are replacing energy-guzzling equipment with more efficient models.
In Yonkers, the improvements included replacing Lincoln High School’s 60-year-old boilers, which guzzled 137,500 gallons of heating oil a year — “so much fuel that it seemed like we had oil trucks parked out front,” said John Carr, the executive director of school facilities in Yonkers. The new boilers burn only 80,000 gallons.”
Check out the original Energy Education NY Times article.
A new report from Energy Education in Dallas says that Michigans’ Lowell Schools saved 43 percent on energy over the course of 85 months. How? For one, by turning off the lights, one of the first things schools that partner with Energy Ed learn to do as a way to cut energy usage and reduce utility costs.
“Making sure you understand about lighting, computers, anything that plugs in that’s electrical,” said Jim White, energy manager for Lowell Public Schools, in an interview with Wyoming’s WZZM 13. “And then we move to more sophisticated areas like how buildings are managed when no one’s around. Like heating, lighting and air conditioning.”
The Lowell schools have managed to save $3,751,669 so far. The district with the next best savings is Jenison, which cut down on its energy use by 33 percent and saved more than $2 million over 69 months. Other Michigan schools have been following in their energy-saving footsteps, however, and several districts aren’t far behind when it comes to energy cutbacks. Cedar Springs School District has saved $1.2 million in just 73 months, and Forest Hills School District reports a savings of 25 percent, which equals an impressive $3,145,332 in only 56 months.
Facing budget cuts and potential teacher layoffs, schools are starting to look for new ways to cut costs— like partnerships with Energy Education. For nine years, Texas’ Taylor Independent School District (TISD) has worked with Energy Ed to help decrease rising energy costs, saving more than $2 million, according to the district’s energy manager, Mike Janak.
“Energy Education has been around for more than 25 years and has helped numerous school districts and businesses with their energy savings,” Janak said in an interview with Taylor Daily Press. “About nine years ago, they approached the school board about signing a four-year contract with them, promising a projected savings of $100,000 a year.”
Janak continued to say that the district has exceeded its yearly projected savings every year by simply changing people’s habits—de-lamping vending machines when they are not in use, turning heating units off during the nights, weekends, holidays and summers, and cutting back on air conditioning.
TISD is now ranked in the top five among Energy Education’s 65 Texas school districts, just behind Henderson, Montgomery, Canton and Van school districts, at 35 percent in cost avoiding figures.
The Ocean Springs School District in Maryland is on schedule to open a new high school in May 2012—meaning they’re also on schedule to get slapped with a huge bill. In preparation, the district teamed up with Energy Education to cut its utility costs by conserving energy.
The new building, which is costing the district $60 million, will allow for much-needed room in existing schools. Superintendent Robert Hirsch said students will finally be moved out of trailers, and that the existing high school will be converted to an upper elementary school for grades fourth, fifth and sixth, so that the current elementary school will be less crowded.
Energy Education began working with the Ocean Springs School District one year ago, and has since shut down all non-vital electrical equipment in unoccupied areas, such as air conditioners, lights, computers and copy machines.
Hirsch told the Mississippi Press, “We also have holiday shutdowns and summer shutdowns. That’s when we really collect the savings. It’s been incredibly productive, so we’re very happy with the program. “
Thanks to its partnership with Energy Education, the Fallbrook Union High School District saved $70,635 during its first five months working with the company. The board of trustees approved the program in late April of last year, and since then Energy Education specialist Darin Vey has been working to ensure the district’s energy and water savings.
The savings have two key benefits. The most obvious is that the schools are becoming more environmentally sensitive, but the cut in costs also allows the schools to redistribute the funds that were previously spent on energy and water. The schools in the Fallbrook district now have more flexibility in their budgets and can use the savings for other areas of need—teachers’ salaries, supplies, computers, etc.
The cost of the Energy Education program came from the district’s existing utility budget, and the savings are guaranteed to more than pay for the program. The conservation program is sustainable for years, and the company will continue to support the school district even after its paid contract ends. Fallbrook is paving the way for other schools in California—and the rest of the country—to implement energy plans in a similar fashion and save money along the way.
Energy Educaiton Inc. has been working with larger churches since 2006. Large churches spending in excess of $750,000 for thier utility costs are eligible for Energy Education Inc.’s services; who have the ability to reduce thier energy spending by 20-30%.
If you would like to learn more about Energy Education’s successes with large churches, examples of savings and awards, click through to the Energy Education Inc. : Larger Churches page.
Energy Education Inc. was founded by Dr. William S. Spears with the desire to provide additional resources for schools and alleviate budget constraints that districts face. He found that energy and utility savings was the best area to alleviate budget expenses and re-allocate funds to other classroom programs. Visit the Energy Education website to read more about Energy Education Inc.’s history and its creation under the guidance of Dr. William Spears.