Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ferndale School District Cuts 21 Percent in Utility Costs with Energy Ed

Since partnering with Energy Education to reduce energy costs, Ferndale School District has been reaping the benefits, which include a savings of more than $750,000 in just three years, as well as a 21 percent reduction in utility costs.

Usually, schools budget for a predictable increase in utility costs each year, but working with Energy Education helped the district lessen their energy use to avoid that usual increase, so the schools have been spending the same, consistent amount of money on utilities per year. The cost of the program even comes from that same budget. This allows the schools to spend more money elsewhere—on teacher salaries, sports and tutoring programs, for example. The district began a four-year contract with the company in September 2007, and has since acquired a cost avoidance of nearly 26 percent, which equals almost $300,000. As part of the contract, Energy Ed provided EnergyCAP software that monitors and analyzes district energy use, as well as training for Tony Torretta, who oversees the energy management program. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

California Schools Cut Costs with Advertising, Energy Reductions

Partnering with Energy Education is one of the ways school districts such as California’s San Juan Unified and Sacramento City Unified have been cutting utility costs in an effort to save programs like sports and after-school clubs, and keep teachers employed. An article in the Sacramento Bee highlighted the program’s assistance—Energy Ed helped San Juan save 16 to 17 percent of the district’s annual energy bill. Following suit, Sacramento signed a 4 ½-year contract in 2009.

“If they are helping us save money, that helps us save jobs that keep teachers in classrooms and sports in schools,” Gabe Ross, district spokesman for Sacramento City Unified, told the publication.

The article also discussed how area school districts have begun looking into advertising as a way to raise much-needed funds. For the same cost-cutting reasons, the schools have also hired Education Funding Partners, a company that is trying to sign enough school districts to make advertising in gymnasiums and cafeterias attractive to big companies with larger allowances, like Apple, Sprint and Adidas. Schools are no strangers to advertising, but Education Funding Partners is hoping to bring it to a much larger scale—billboards, not yearbook ads. In light of recent budget cuts, schools could use the money, and districts are quickly becoming more receptive to alternative ideas for fundraising. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New York School District Saves $1.5 Million with Energy Education

Energy Education presented East Greenbush Central School District with its Energy Excellence Award at a May 4 Board of Education Meeting. Through the partnership with Energy Ed, the district has seen $1,466,686 in cost savings in just the last 42 months. The savings come from implementing behavioral and organizational change to substantially reduce energy consumption.

“I am extremely pleased to present East Greenbush Central School District with our Energy Excellence Award,” said William S. Spears, chairman and founder of Energy Education, according to Albany’s Times Union. “The school district joins a very committed group of organizations across the country working hard to achieve energy savings so the dollars saved can be redirected to educational needs.”

The school district has succeeded in saving energy by tracking consumption and analyzing energy use, including monitoring electricity, water, sewer, natural gas and fuel oil, all using special energy-accounting software from Energy Education. The Energy Excellence Award is a national recognition, presented only to clients that have successfully saved at least $1 million by implementing an energy management plan.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Energy Education, Energy Star Focus Efforts on Orlando Church

Since it was founded in 1871, Orlando's First Baptist Church (FBC) has expanded several times and grown to 15,000 members, making energy costs all the more importantwhich is why Energy Education stepped in. By partnering with both Energy Star and and Energy Education, FBC Orlando hoped to tackle its rising utility costs, which were approaching $1 million per year.

By controlling costs, the church is free to put the additional savings toward domestic, local and foreign ministries and missions. FBC Orlando is the largest contributor to missions of any Southern Baptist congregation, donating $1.5 million each year. The church was also concerned about using nature's resources in the most efficient way possible, and is paying attention to adjusting temperatures and scheduling events so that certain locations' lights and climate control can be turned off when they're not in use. FBC Orlando is focusing on three specific areas: energy accounting, mechanical operation and energy awareness. This is what makes up the church's Energy Management Action Plan, which helped save more than $1 million between October 2008 and March 2011. It plans to save an additional million in even less time. The church was awarded the annual Energy Star Congregations Award in 2010, which encouraged the congregation to continue their energy-efficient path to even more savings.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Martinez Unified School District Launches Energy Ed Program

Today marks the first day of Energy Education’s partnership with California’s Martinez Unified School District. To help ensure the program runs smoothly, former Alhambra High School vice principal and District Bond Coordinator has been chosen for the role of Energy Education Specialist (EES). Energy Education will train Hillman to teach students and staff how to conserve energy, using a variety of technologies and software.

“The time has arrived for us to address savings at every level of the organization,” said Superintendent Rami Muth in an interview with Patch.com. “This people-oriented program helps us save using the systems and personnel already in place. Every dollar we don’t spend on energy is a dollar we save for educational purposes.”

The money that the school district spends on the program will be paid for through energy savings, according to Energy Education. Additional savings can be put back into the district’s budget for other uses, including teachers’ salaries, books and materials and after-school programs that would have otherwise been cut. Martinez Unified School District is located in Martinez, Calif. and includes four elementary schools, one middle school and high school, two alternative and independent study schools, as well as one school for adult education. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lights Out at California's Mira Costa High School

During the daytime and into the early evening, high schools are lively with students rushing to and from classes, meetings and sports practices, but what about the sleepy hours leading up to dawn? Not so much. After teaming up with Energy Education Inc., California’s Mira Costa High School has begun an interior dark campus policy that minimizes the number of parking and perimeter lights that are left on between midnight and 5 a.m.

The policy may also help decrease unlawful trespassing and vandalism, as anyone who sees suspicious activity during those hours is asked to report it to the police immediately. The local police department has also been informed of the change in policy. As one of the largest schools in the district, Mira Costa High School’s utility costs reach $185,000 yearly. Since working with Energy Education Inc., the district has cut down on its energy costs by $10,000 per month. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Celebrate Earth Day with Good News from Virginia

Happy Earth Day! For students of Loudoun County Public Schools in Ashburn, Va., it’s an especially happy Earth Day, in light of news that the school district was named an Energy Star Partner of the Year by the Environmental Protection Agency for the second year in a row. With help from Energy Education Inc., the schools saved more than $323,000 in 2010 alone.
“They’re now spending money on textbooks and teachers, instead of energy bills. Teachers and textbooks are certainly where education dollars belong,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Bon Perciasepe to the Washington Examiner.
Energy Education Inc. has been working with Loudoun since June of 1993, accumulating a savings of $29,861,725 through January 2011. For nearly two decades, the program has helped spread energy awareness and make Loudoun one of Energy Ed’s greatest success stories. Loudoun County Public Schools are home to 63,220 students and 76 schools.