As part of the City’s overall energy conservation efforts, the Department of Education (DOE), in partnership with the Department of Citywide Administrative Services Division of Energy Management (DCAS DEM) is implementing energy efficiency programs in existing school buildings. Energy conservation programs at schools include: energy benchmarking, building audits and retrofits, improved operations and maintenance, Peak Load Management, metering and monitoring imitative, summer kitchen energy conservation and renewable energy projects. Each of these programs is described in more detail below.
DOE benchmarked its buildings’ energy consumption using the EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager in order to track and analyze current building energy performance against the baseline. Principals, teachers, parents and students are encouraged to review DOE’s benchmarking data by creating a free account and sending their username to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the e-mail, please indicate the name and address of the school’s data you would like to access.
DCAS DEM uses the benchmarking data to prioritize schools that will receive energy audits on an annual basis. Energy audits assess current building performance and find cost effective energy conservation measures (ECMs) that will improve the energy efficiency of the building(s) and reduce the City’s annual energy costs. The recommended ECMs that meet the City's payback criteria (the most energy savings for the least cost) gets funded and implemented.
The Long-Term Plan estimated that improved operations and maintenance (O&M) of existing municipal buildings could reduce 195,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually and millions of dollars in energy costs. Since schools comprise 40% of the City’s total municipal building square footage, DOE was one of two agencies to participate in a year-long O&M pilot program at 10 schools. The program will be expanded citywide over the next few years. One of the program’s goals is to educate building users about the simple steps they can take to conserve energy, both in the cold winter months and in the warmer summer months. Click on the following images to find winter and summer energy-savings tips.
School custodian engineers and building managers can access additional energy saving ideas from US Department of Energy's Online Training Program on Operating and Maintaining Energy Smart Schools. Starting in October 2010, CUNY will provide Building Operator Certification Training to school custodian engineers and building managers as part of the DCAS DEM, CUNY, DOE and Local 891 collaborative effort.
DOE participates in the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Peak Load Management Program (PLM), designed to help NYPA avoid electrical system overload and prevent power outages during very hot summer days that are officially designated "Peak Load Management Days" by NYPA. Currently, 23 school buildings participate in the program by turning off unnecessary overhead lighting, reducing elevator service, if applicable, increasing space temperatures and displaying PLM poster at the building entrances on Peak Load Management Days.
In 2009, DOE’s Division of School Food introduced the Summer Kitchen Energy Conservation pilot program in 57 schools citywide. The program was designed to unplug (if feasible) school cafeteria refrigerators and freezers during summer break. As a result, DOE and the City reduced energy use by 100,000 kilowatt-hours and saved thousands of dollars in electrical bills. This summer, DOE expanded the program to over 600 schools that were closed for the summer.
The Office of School Support Services and Division of School Facilities IT Infrastructure Unit began the energy conservation efforts by introducing virtualized servers and storage. Virtualization significantly reduced the cost of operation, hardware, real estate, power consumption and cooling load by $2,413 per machine annually. In addition, cooling load of the Vernon Boulevard Data Center was reduced by utilizing an economizer on air conditioning unit, reconfiguring the data center by hot and cold aisles and adding temperature and humidity sensors for remote controls. As a parallel effort, workstation nightly shutdown has been implemented to reduce power consumption without any disruption to users, system pushes or security scans and updates.
DOE is working with the City University of New York through Sustainable CUNY and the New York City Solar America Cities Partnership to identify possible solar projects at schools with the New York City Empowerment Zones. Completed solar projects within the Zones will receive data monitoring systems that will allow us to track solar energy production on DOE buildings while providing interactive tools for students to learn about solar energy. DOE is also exploring renewable energy opportunities with DCAS DEM and the New York Power Authority.
DOE is also committed to reducing energy usage in new school buildings. The School Construction Authority (SCA) implements all major capital improvements and new construction for DOE. As part of the City’s Local Law 86 SCA developed the NYC Green School Guide.
In addition to energy initiatives at school buildings, DOE encourages students and school community involvement in energy conservation initiatives through school participation in Green School Alliance and other non-profit programs.Green Schools Alliance Programs
As a charter member of the Green Schools Alliance (GSA) (www.greenschoolsalliance.org ), DOE encourages student, teacher, and principal participation in sustainability initiatives, including energy conservation, through the following GSA programs:
Junior Energy’s mission is to work in classrooms and schools to help children discover how they can positively impact the planet by engaging their parents, family, friends and neighbors in small, simple actions.
Alliance for Climate Education
Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) delivers in-person, science-based, multimedia presentations on climate change designed for high school age students that inspire all school community to go green. This no cost 45 minute presentation also addresses certain New York science standards from the Living Environment: Core Curriculum. For more information, visit the ACE website.