The City School District of Albany will reduce the use of energy throughout the school system without impacting the educational environment while ensuring efficient and effective stewardship of public resources.
The district will:
- Develop energy savings habits within all levels of facility users
- Implement energy saving programs and practices
- Review and authenticate energy usage and billing
- Research and recommend energy efficient methods and materials
- Generate an attitude and culture of energy savings
- Observe and report areas for energy use reduction
- Coordinate energy savings efforts with all departments within the district
- Develop and maintain professional and industry contacts
- Seek program improvement through staff development
The district’s energy-management program consists of monitoring monthly utility usage and identifying areas where the district can reduce energy consumption or upgrade to more efficient equipment.
The reduction in energy usage means cost savings opportunities for the district. Those funds can then be used where it is needed most…our schools!
Saving energy also means reducing pollution and helping our environment. Generating just one kilowatt-hour (kWh) produces 1.6 pounds of CO2, which is emitted into the atmosphere.
Utility bills are an expense that can be controlled, but it takes everyone’s help. Remember that every dollar saved is a dollar that can be used for education.
In 1996, the district partnered with the New York Power Authority and retrofitted most of building light fixtures, replacing them with energy-efficient lighting powered by electronic ballasts. This not only reduced our electric bill significantly, but it also enabled us to remove old style ballasts containing harmful PCBs.
Since then, the district has continued to work with the Power Authority on other energy-saving projects, including a district-wide energy-management system that allows custodians to adjust the temperature of buildings while they are empty. For example, a school's thermostat could be set at 62 degrees during winter vacation when the building is empty, or set at 80 degrees during summer. Also, in 2008, a geothermal loop system was installed at New Scotland Elementary School as part of the building's renovation. This extremely energy-efficient system uses the earth as a heat reservoir.
We look forward to many more exciting energy projects and training programs such as solar panels and demand power management as we work towards reducing the energy usage and carbon footprint in our district.
The district has invested money in energy-efficient equipment, building upgrades and new construction. But YOU can make a huge impact in your everyday actions. Here are some simple actions you can take to save energy in your school building and at home:
- Turn off lights when not in use (even if you’re just leaving the room for 20 or 30 minutes)
- Turn off electronic equipment when not in use for long periods of time (computers, monitors, copy machines, printers)
- Turn off and unplug personal appliances (desk lamps, coffee machines, fans, space heaters) when not in use
- Replace incandescent bulbs in floor lamps and task lighting with CFLs or LEDs
- Keep windows and doors closed when the heat, ventilation or air conditioning system is running
- Do not block the air flow to heating, ventilation and air-conditioning vents
- In the winter, open shades and blinds during daylight hours. In the summer, close shades and blinds during daylight hours in areas that receive direct sunlight
- Report any water leaks, problems, or other issues to the appropriate person. You’re in your building and room every day. By reporting an issue early on – you will save energy and can prevent larger, more expensive problems
- Institute an Energy Watchdog program, with student teams trained and tasked with identifying energy waste