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Schools illustrate how energy savings translate into significant cash savings

Adopting energy-saving tips and converting to “green” philosophies in a workplace sounds fairly easy in many cases. You get recycling bins for employees, you encourage workers to keep the thermostat lower, you keep computers and lights off during non-working hours. But what if that workplace is a significant operation with hundreds of employees and several buildings – like a school district?

School districts, college campuses and large church parishes are good examples of organizations seeking help from Energy Star companies with expertise that goes far beyond just handing out recycling bins.

Companies such as Energy Education Inc. are proving to be key components of school district initiatives to cut energy costs. They are proving that significant money can be slashed from already-strapped school district budgets by undertaking a major effort to reduce consumption of electricity, gas, fuel oil and water.

Batavia School Dist. 101 in Batavia, Ill., recently reported that it has saved more than $100,000 in energy costs already in 2010, and could be close to $300,000 in savings by year-end. The district is in the first year of a four-year deal with Energy Education Inc. to institute a program and new habits that drastically change the district’s energy consumption.

Energy Education Inc. predicts that over a 10-year period, a school district like Batavia’s with one high school, a middle school and four elementary schools could enjoy a net savings of $3.9 million. This is a range that would be common for most districts or colleges that would take such an organized approach to reducing energy costs, the company claims.

Energy Education Inc. examines all facets of energy use, from making sure equipment is turned off to examining a building’s occupancy at any given time, and adjusting cooling or heating accordingly. But it’s more precise in its measurements, calculating moisture and humidity levels.

In addition to modifying human behavior and encouraging energy-saving habits, a program instituting this kind of change examines the HVAC systems, electrical systems, and the motors and drives on all equipment; conducts energy audits; searches buildings for energy leaks; considers all turf management and irrigation setups; studies the standards for boilers and steam systems; and implements many other LEED and Energy Star (government-backed symbol for reliable energy savings information) standards and practices.

Companies with expertise such as Energy Education Inc. tell clients that a self-implement energy savings program can result in cost savings between zero and 7 percent. But with the help of experts and a thorough examination of all facets of an energy program, those savings could shoot up to 30 percent or higher.

Because the employees of educational institutions should be concentrating on educating students, it is a difficult task for school districts to implement their own energy-savings programs. School districts would be wise to consider a company with expertise in energy conservation that will assess the district’s situation and put together a plan. When a company like Energy Education Inc. can claim to save billions of dollars in energy costs when several school districts across the nation buy into green habits, there are few better examples of conservation taking hold in the United States.


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