According to an article from ClimateWire, energy efficiency offers cash-strapped schools an opportunity to save on their $8 billion annual energy bill.
Penny-pinched schools — huge market seeks energy efficiency
Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter
ClimateWire: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Anthony Wright knows well how summer heat in Memphis, Tenn., can zap life out of even the hardiest souls, including the roughly 107,000 students and faculty who begin filling the city’s roughly 7,200 classrooms each year in early August.
As Memphis City Schools’ coordinator for energy management and conservation, Wright also knows what the heat does to his district’s bottom line, sucking tens of millions of dollars annually to keep buildings cool for up to 250 days a year.
“We’re pretty generous with our comfort when the students are there,” said Wright, who in his first week of the fall semester had to contend with outdoor temperatures of 92 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit.
But as late afternoon rolls toward evening and school buildings empty out, Wright turns from cooling manager into energy miser, turning up thermostats, shutting down unessential lights and sealing off areas that require precise temperature controls from rooms that can stand an overnight warmup…
“For every degree [of thermostat adjustment], it’s like a 2 percent savings,” Wright said. “And when you’re counting every percentage point, and even tenths of percentage points, the savings add up pretty fast.”
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