Clintonville schools cut energy costs
Clintonville school saved $50,466 in energy costs for 2012-13.
Those savings represent a 13 percent reduction in energy use.
The energy savings were made possible after the district teamed with the Cooperative Educational Service Agency 10 (CESA 10) Energy Management Team in July 2012. Special projects were completed to update heating systems and lighting at each of the district’s buildings.
Alex Harris, energy manager and operations specialist with CESA 10, presented data on the district’s energy savings over the past 11 months at the school board meeting on Monday, June 24.
“CESA 10 believes in using multiple approaches to reaching energy savings goals: technical and behavioral,” explained Harris in his presentation. “We encourage facilities personnel to continue to work on both optimizing building systems and demonstrating behavioral changes in the district.
“The general trend for district-wide electricity usage is steadily decreasing,” reported Harris. “This is primarily due to optimizing the high school HVAC system and de-lamping efforts. The peak electrical demand has decreased steadily over the last year. The mild spring contributed to the lower demand as well as de-lamping and HVAC optimization.”
Harris reported that the high school reduced electricity use by 12.3 percent ($18,805) over the last year, while reducing natural gas use by 23.3 percent ($15,572) over the last year.
“The middle school reduced electricity use by 3.2 percent over the last year, but there was an overall loss of $1,729 due to the higher cost of electricity in July when they increased use significantly,” said Harris. “The middle school reduced natural gas use by 1 percent ($166) over the last year.”
Harris said Longfellow Elementary reduced their electricity use by 0.6 percent over the last year, but there was an overall loss of $522 due to the higher cost of electricity in June when use increased significantly. Longfellow reduced natural gas use by 11.4 percent ($3,670) over the last year.
“Dellwood Early Learning Center increased their electricity use by 3.1 percent ($139) over the last year,” continued Harris. “Their natural gas use was reduced by 14.6 percent ($743) over the last year.”
Harris said Building Automation System (BAS) controls were updated at the high school to improve building occupant comfort and increase system efficiency. Outside air intake levels at the high school were adjusted to better match actual building occupancy.
A lighting survey was conducted at all four buildings, identifying several over-lit areas, especially in the high school. Many hallways at the high school were de-lamped, and five inefficient outdoor wall pack lights were replaced with more efficient LED fixtures at the district office and Longfellow.
Future energy projects include optimizing digital controls throughout the district where available, as well as replacing inefficient CRT computer monitors with more efficient flat screen models. Over-lit areas will be de-lamped where appropriate, based on results from the lighting survey, and alternative, energy efficient exterior lighting will be explored.
Additional services provided to the district include an energy survey sent to staff members in September 2012; energy management 101 presentations; Blue Will Do decals indicating which lights to turn on; weekly e-tips; quarterly energy management updates; IT-related energy saving opportunities; classroom consultations and site visits; and an energy savings poster challenge to raise energy awareness.
“We were expecting a 10 percent reduction in energy use, but we actually saw a 13 percent reduction,” concluded Harris. “The overall downward trend in energy usage is a good thing.”