Report: D.225 is energy efficient
Maintenance staff for Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, Scott Bish checks systems to ensure proper function. | PHOTO COURTESY OF SCHOOL DISTRICT 225)
Updated: December 2, 2012 6:12AM
An energy audit of how well School District 225 high schools manage utility power put them above the state average — and then some.
In spring, energy efficiency engineers for two companies tested facility equipment at the schools, such as heating, lighting and air conditioning, among other large consumers of power.
“There are enormous savings in turning down, turning off and tuning up fans, ventilation, pool dehumidifiers and pool heating,” said Andy Robinson, an energy specialist for Smart Energy Design Assistance Center, which performed the audit at Glenbrook North in Northbrook.
For instance, the audit found large air handlers did not have leaking valves, lighting systems were turned off with heating and air conditioning systems and hot water temperatures were reset based on outdoor temperatures.
The report also said maintenance staff kept daily consumption logs of energy of gas, electric, boiler water and chiller.
“The staff does one of the best jobs with maintenance and ongoing retro-commissioning of any school that we visited,” said a SEDAC report.
The company identified 12 items totaling $38,500 in improvement costs, resulting in an expected annual savings of $75,000.
For GBS, the energy consulting company of EnerNOC recommended improvements in seven areas that would cost approximately $68,000, but would result in an annual savings of $46,000.
SEDAC also provided a report summary, saying the school “ … does an exceptional job in operating and maintaining the facility in a highly efficient manner and with an attention to energy management.”
To perform the studies, the high schools spent $30,000 each in grants from the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.
Each school also agreed to spend $10,000 of the grant to implement SEDAC’s cost-saving recommendations in energy use, of which GBN has already started.
School District 225 has been using an automated energy system for about 15 years, said Kim Ptak, 225’s director of operations.
“As part of our ongoing effort to improve efficiency, the district reduced its energy consumption by more than $1 million since the 2008-09 school year,” said Ptak.
The district will continue to consider the identified projects and bring recommendations to the Board of Education Facilities Committee for discussion.