ERIC Number: EJ919658
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Reference Count: 0
Erickson, Paul W.
American School & University, v82 n10 p22-25 May 2010
Even though there's been a slight reprieve in energy costs, the reality is that the cost of non-renewable energy is increasing, and state education budgets are shrinking. One way to keep energy and operations costs from overshadowing education budgets is to develop a 10-year energy audit plan to eliminate waste. First, facility managers should know the existing energy-use costs for each of their buildings. Gather utility bills for all buildings and have an architect or engineer prepare a "dashboard" that shows dollars per square foot of building area for each utility. From this data, an architect or engineer can assess the energy efficiency in each building. Conducting an energy audit and calculating effective cost paybacks, which consist of architectural, mechanical and electrical components, is a surefire way to identify "low-hanging fruit," or relatively easy improvements that can be paid for through energy savings. Shorter paybacks result in immediate energy savings; projects with longer payback periods may require phasing or sequencing for completion. The energy audit leads to a long-term energy-efficiency plan that helps institutions determine cost-saving energy improvements. Reducing energy consumption by changing users' behavior can be accomplished through training and awareness. Carrying out operational strategies and enforcing them consistently encourages faculty, students and other user groups to reduce energy consumption in schools. This article provides some tips that teach behavioral change to user groups and offers recommendations for facilities upgrades and capital investments that reduce energy costs.
Descriptors: Audits (Verification), Energy Conservation, Energy Management, Costs, Budgeting, Long Range Planning, Maintenance, Educational Facilities Improvement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A