As some individuals strive to become more eco-friendly by recycling products, using reusable bags, and making other changes to their daily lives, schools, too, are seeking to become more energy efficient. Recently, some schools across the nation have hired third-party consultants, such as Cenergistic (formerly Energy Education Inc.) to help them become more eco-friendly.
Cenergistic implements technology to track electricity usage and adjust temperature, water and lighting usage accordingly. School energy specialists work with students and teachers to ensure the building is comfortable as the software provides numerous energy-saving recommendations.
In Plainville, Connecticut, Cenergistic helped the district reduce electricity usage by 385,000 kwh and cut over 17,000 ccf units of natural gas. Not only are these systems helping the environment, they’re also helping the community. The Plainville school system reduced energy bills by $97,000 in five months. The money saved has been put toward teacher’s salaries and benefits. Similarly, in Bloomfield, New Jersey, the district has saved $260,000 in just over a year. The amount of energy the school system has conserved is equivalent to keeping 179 cars off the road for a year.
Cenergistic provides a variety of tactics to improve energy efficiency, individually tailored to each school. Suggestions include reducing the temperature of the boiler room, placing classroom lights on a timer and reducing the operational hours of vending machines, among other changes.
Though some school district superintendents acknowledge that there is some initial public hesitation regarding the costs and benefits related to such consulting practices, they note that once implemented, the payback is apparent.
“The dollars we’ve saved in just the first few months is a significant amount,” said Superintendent Jason Bing, of Bloomfield. “It’s money we won’t have to cut from our budget.”
Though Cenergistic is well-known for working with school districts and universities, they also work to promote energy-efficiency among ministries and in the health care industry.