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Energy Efficient Schools and Students: Operations
Table of Contents
Background and Overview
Reasons to Change
Barriers to Change
P2 Opportunities
Case Studies
Glossary of Terms
Key Contacts
Complete List of Links

Essential Links:

Alliance to Save Energy: Saving Energy in Schools
This portion of the Alliance to Save Energy web site includes best practices for controlling energy ...

The Campus Environmental Resource Center--CampusERC--is intended to be a great library of resources ...

CHPS Best Practices Manual
CHPS has developed and maintains a six-volume technical best practices manual for high performance s...

Clean School Bus USA
The goal of Clean School Bus USA is to reduce both children's exposure to diesel exhaust and the amo...

Energy Design Guidelines for High Performance Schools--Cool and Dry Climates
Energy designs included in this 88-page document includes case studies as well as site designs, dayl...

Energy Star for K-12 Districts
Estabishing a comprehensive energy management program, getting started with fact sheets, evaluating ...

Environmental Building News
Articles, reviews, and news stories covering energy-efficient, resource-efficient, and healthy build...

Environmental Design + Construction (ED+C)
Bi-monthly magazine covering the green building industry.

GLRPPR Educational Institutions Sector Resource
This Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR) Sector Resource provides a compil...

Green Schools Project: Using Energy Efficiency to Strengthen Schools
The Green Schools program helps schools use energy efficiently through building retrofits, changes i...

Healthy School Environments Assessment Tool (HealthySEAT)
EPA has developed a unique software tool to help school districts evaluate and manage their school f...

LEED for Schools
LEED recognizes schools and has developed a schools rating systems that can be adapted to the unique...

Midwest Buildings Technology Application Center (MBTAC)
This web site is a project of the Energy Center of Wisconsin and the University of Illinois at Chica...

National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities (NCEF)
Created in 1997 by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Clearinghouse for Educational Faci...

NY-CHPS High Performance Schools Guidelines
The State Education Department (SED) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authorit...

Portable Classrooms
Portable -- or "relocatable" -- classrooms have been a feature of many school districts for years. F...

Save Energy at School
Suggestions for saving energy at schools, tips for implementing a school-wide energy efficiency prog...

School Operations and Maintenance: Best Practices for Controlling Energy Costs
Prepared by Princeton Energy Resource International, HPowell Energy Associates and the Alliance to S...

Skylighting in Schools - A Healthy Advantage
Older schools in this district were built with few windows, and students complained they felt "claus...

Smart Energy Design Assistance Center
The Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC) is designed to encourage for-profit small business...

UIUC LibGuide: Green/Sustainable Building
This reference guide includes links to both popular materials and more technical information. It is ...

USGBC Build Green Schools
Launched on October 16, 2007 by the U.S. Green Building Council, this site is filled with profiles o...

<big><b>Energy Efficient Schools and Students: Operations </b></big> This section contains detailed information on energy management issues in a variety of zones within the school (parking lots, restrooms, hallways, classrooms, and other school zones). It involves every aspect of the school's energy using equipment.

The energy-efficiency policy within a school district or a single school depends upon awareness of energy opportunities, budgets and financial structures, district expectations and policies, access to staff training, expertise and knowledge, access to consumption information, consumer behavior and awareness, and the equipment.

Simple, but effective low-cost, observations can provide quick, substantial savings in energy costs. A walk-through of the building by maintenance can determine the building's use and schedule of use, determine procedures for shutdown during unoccupied periods, determine lighting levels and appropriate locations of sensors, and identification of cracks that allow outside air inside. A walk-through that assesses energy consumption and user behaviors provides a quick overview of the school's energy use and needs. Operations staff can conduct these in less than a day and the results from identifying energy issues in key areas of the school can lead to numerous possible actions. The following chart provides a snapshot of positive actions and outcomes:

AreaEnergy Issue Possible Actions
Portable ClassroomsPoor circulation, noisy air conditioners, water entry and moldOutdoor air needs to be supplied continuously using an outdoor air kit
KitchenHeat build up from cookingUse fan hood only when cooking, reduce pre-heat time, clean coils on refrigerators, and time use of mixers and small electric appliances for when ovens/stoves are not in full use. Newer energy efficient air conditioners can help cool kitchen area and ceiling fans or vents should be used to draw heat out.
KitchenElecticityUse ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators, freezers, ice machines, and vending machines, as well as commercial food service equipment such as hot food holding cabinets, fryers and steam cookers.
Gymnasium/AuditoriumLightingPulse-start lamps take less warm-up time, energy-efficient skylights for daylight, timers, more efficient bulbs such as T-5 HO Systems in combination with reflectors.
Parking LotLightsCommunicate with staff and anyone reserving the school for evening community events that parking lot lights (on poles) will automatically be off after a designated time. Use motion sensors to provide lighting on an as-needed basis.
RestroomsLights on when room is not in useInstallation of light controls and occupancy sensors in restrooms, but remember to consider the height of the students using the space. Passive infrared sensors detect body heat, while ultrasonic sensors react to sounds. Automatic controls in other spaces also eliminate unnecessary energy consumption.


The Topic Hub™ is a product of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx)

The Energy Efficient Schools and Students Topic Hub™ was developed by:

Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
Contact email:

Hub Last Updated: 7/6/2011