Virginia’s Loudoun County Public Schools saved about $4.6 million this year by conscientiously managing its energy usage. Utility bill audits, an EnergyCAP benchmarking report, the discovery of leaky pipes, and tying energy management to the educational mission of the schools all have helped reduce consumption over a number of years.
“Having a person who is capable of sharing data that shows where a school is today, where it has come from and how it compares to the ENERGY STAR program is very effective,” school district administrators have reportedly said.
This kind of data transparency is a fascinating notion. The school district also agreed to work with Energy Education, Inc. in 1993 to reduce energy and water bills. Since that time, it has been estimated that over $64 million has been saved in utility costs. This figure has been said to be the equivalent of educating 5,200 students for a year.
For its energy and water conservation efforts and successes, the school district has won annual ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year awards. It has over 76,000 students in 88 schools and is the third largest district in Virginia.
Of course, today it seems to be more common to read or hear about solar or wind power in alternative energy news, rather than energy efficiency, but this focus can produce real financial benefits for organizations. Saving tens of millions of dollars for a school district is very helpful, especially during lean times.
Additionally, there are opportunities to share the strategy, efforts, and outcomes with teachers and students in order to raise awareness about the importance of energy efficiency. It would be fascinating to have a study conducted that tried to determine if there was any carryover effect for the school administrators, teachers, or students. Did any of them become more energy-efficient outside of the schools, like at home or in other areas of their lives?
Image Credit: Karen Nutini, Creative Commons SA 3.0
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