Whether you’re a teacher, principal or parent volunteer, one of the biggest concerns is ensuring each classroom has the necessary supplies to provide students with a great learning experience. Countless hours are spent each year conducting fundraisers, asking parents for money, and trying to convince local companies to donate. But there is an easier way to accomplish the goal that is often overlooked…spend less money on energy.
Don’t think for a second that I’m advocating for hot, humid classrooms in warm weather, or freezing conditions in winter. I’m talking about monitoring and managing your campus’ energy use to ensure you’re not wasting it. I know of school districts spending as much as $2 million a year for electricity and gas, and while part of the problem is outdated, inefficient HVAC units, that isn’t their only problem. There is no monitoring or management of their energy systems. If there were, they could likely shave a sizable percentage of their utilities budget through managing their energy consumption. The money they save on utilities could go right back into the general fund, which is where classroom spending, teachers’ salaries, and educational materials come from.
Some schools that understand that energy savings parlays into more funding in the classroom make a rush to install solar. I love solar, but it shouldn’t be the first move you make to save energy in your school. Becoming energy efficient and lowering the amount of energy your school consumes is a necessary first step. Why purchase more solar panels than you need? Bring your energy load down first, THEN buy solar panels to fit your energy needs, based on a well-managed energy system. A good energy monitoring and management system is far less costly than buying more solar panels than you require.
One of the Go Green Initiative’s newest partners is InTech Energy. Their product, Energy 360, combines power monitoring, energy analytics and building control into a single, simplified software interface at an affordable price. Their user interface helps facility personnel visualize the equipment that is contributing to high energy bills in the school, and is so intuitive that students can understand and use it for math or science lessons. School district facilities managers can see real-time energy usage using their computer or smartphone and take immediate action using the building controls built into the software. Listen to this podcast to learn more.
We all want to prepare our children for the 21st century, and that’s why we work so hard to invest in their education. Let’s use 21st century technology, like Energy 360, to spend less money on utilities and more in the classroom. You can get in touch with InTech today by calling 925-475-8877 or emailing [email protected].