Plainville Community Schools, 47 Robert Holcomb Way, Plainville CT 06062, (860)793-3200

Plainville Community Schools' Conservation Program Will Save Energy Dollars

Plainville Community Schools' administration and board members have taken a proactive step in good stewardship of budgeted funds and energy by embarking on a comprehensive energy conservation and management program with Energy Education. The award-winning company's energy conservation programs have saved more than $2.6 billion for educational and ministerial organizations across the nation.

Plainville Community Schools' program began in March. The organization named district Communications Specialist Lynn Davis as Energy Education Specialist (EES), a position she'll assume in addition to her other duties. Davis will receive intensive training from Energy Education energy consultants to implement conservation procedures in all facilities. As EES, Davis will conduct energy audits to ensure that students and teachers are comfortable during class time and scheduled activities, and that energy is used only as necessary. Energy Education Specialists are responsible for helping to motivate everyone in the system to use energy wisely, keep classrooms comfortable, and practice smart energy strategies â€" ensuring that Energy Education's Transformational Energy Management® process is implemented throughout the system. This powerful, proven process turns recommendations into real savings, changing consumption behavior by focusing on four critical components: 1. Assessment + Planning, 2. Coordination + Communication, 3. Leadership + Focus, and 4. Measurement + Verification.

In the next four years, Davis will work closely with Energy Education's consultants, receiving hands-on training and program supervision. Energy Education's comprehensive support ensures that all components of the plan are implemented and creates an action plan for the system to follow. Every energy use point throughout the organization is analyzed, with continual follow up to ensure that energy is used as necessary, but never wasted in classrooms, offices, athletic facilities, kitchens, or other areas of the system. Davis audits system facilities throughout the year during different times of the day and night to ensure that energy-saving practices are in place, and adjusts plans as necessary. The EES ensures all equipment is operating as intended, and motivates other system personnel to follow the program's guidelines. Davis analyzes optimum practices for heating and air conditioning systems, ventilation rates, periods of occupancy, humidity, transition to unoccupied buildings, circulation pumps, and more. The program is designed to preserve comfortable environments during class and scheduled activities.

Energy Education's consultants cover the range of energy conservation specialties â€" engineers, certified energy managers, boiler specialists, heating-ventilation-air-conditioning experts, measurement and verification professionals, grounds care, organizational behavior, and more. They make frequent training and implementation visits as needed for maximum savings.

"We must look for every opportunity to find savings at all levels of the organization. This organizational behavior-based program helps us change the culture within our schools to be more conscious of energy conservation. Every dollar we don't spend on energy is a dollar we save for educational purposes," said Superintendent of Schools, Jeffrey Kitching.

All costs of the Energy Education program come from the system's existing utility budget, with savings projected to more than pay for the program. Additional savings can be reserved for other parts of the budget. Many organizations have credited this program with helping keep personnel and maintain programs that otherwise would have fallen victim to budget cuts. In addition, Energy Education provides free support after the paid term of the contract, as long as the system continues to implement the program. The energy savings continue for many years.

To measure and verify the program's success, Davis tracks energy consumption using an independent, third party energy-accounting software. The software compares current energy use to a baseline period and calculates the amount of energy that would have been used if conservation and management practices had not been implemented. It adjusts for weather, equipment changes, and variations in building use, according to industry standards. By analyzing consumption and energy use patterns, the software helps the EES quickly identify and correct areas that need immediate attention.

Energy Education's innovative Transformational Energy Management® process trains client personnel to implement behavioral and organizational change that substantially reduces energy consumption without the purchase of new equipment. The program is funded solely and rapidly by the savings it generates, allowing clients to reserve saved energy dollars for other priorities.

Energy Education earned the 2011 and 2012 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency and was named ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for 2009 and 2010. In 26 years, the company has worked with more than 1,200 educational and ministerial organizations, helping clients save over $2.6 billion in utility costs.

-Posted on March 30, 2012 at 11:21 AM

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