You've no doubt heard science teachers in your school lecturing students on the importance of saving power. For administrators, this is one lesson they'd do well to remember when it comes to energy conservation management.
Energy efficiency has been a topic of interest for a while now, and some school districts are being presented with new measures to further incentivize them to join the cause. Government programs at the state and federal level are offering financial advantages to schools that pursue eco-friendly upgrades so that they can make green while going green.
A cost-effective and cost-saving initiative
Some districts that have yet to implement modern energy-efficiency solutions may cite the high cost of equipment upgrades and a comparatively low capital budget as reason to avoid making the switch. However, recent government-sponsored initiatives are seeking to offset some of these costs as a way to remove that barrier to entry.
According to the Fond du Lac Reporter, a Wisconsin state law allows for schools to borrow additional money above their standard revenue caps to be used for energy efficient upgrades. The University of Illinois' Smart Energy Design Assistance Center offers design and monetary incentives for new and existing construction projects looking to integrate energy-saving measures. Such incentive programs provide financial recompense to help districts overcome potential monetary barriers, as well as technical expertise to address installation and maintenance concerns.
Keeping energy use down
A fairly high degree of energy use in a school is inevitable, but there are still steps that can be taken to keep consumption as low as possible. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommended several strategies, some as low-cost as making sure to turn off lights when rooms are empty. Along these lines, monitoring energy use is a key practice that should be embraced. Fortunately, many facility management programs provide built-in energy management software that outlines power use across a school's equipment - invaluable for utility tracking.
Capital and planned maintenance can also be designed with a look toward energy efficiency. When it comes time to repair or update essential fixtures, shopping around with low energy consumption in mind is important. Energy Star certification can serve as a good signpost to help guide administrators toward equipment that will offer more energy efficiency for their dollar. Additional preventive maintenance measures can be taken that are relatively cheap, such as installing reflective film on windows and properly insulating roofs as ways to keep power consumption down.