We can also recommend operational changes and employ processes that will fix those costly issues. But, organizations can go one step further by encouraging building occupants to play a direct role in energy saving initiatives.
Take for example this success story – as you’ll see, it’s pretty ‘elementary’ to get people involved…
In 2015, 43 buildings in the Toledo Public School district were upgraded to ‘smart buildings’. Devices like energy meters integrated with special software that monitors all energy activity in real-time.
The school district saw this as an opportunity to teach students the importance of saving resources and to make this lesson interactive and fun, students participated in an ‘energy-conservation competition’.
Students from five elementary schools had two-weeks to create and implement ideas that they felt would conserve energy. The goal was for each school to ‘out-conserve’ one another. Teachers creatively molded classroom assignments around energy savings and students started doing things like turning off the lights when leaving a room, powering down computers at night, turning off water while scrubbing their hands, and turning down the heat a few notches and putting on a sweatshirt.
With the help of PCC, students were able to see the difference their efforts were making each day. Since these ‘smart buildings’ track energy consumption in real-time, results were updated every 15-minutes and displayed on digital signage (insert link to that page) in the hallways at each school. Even parents were able to monitor the data through a public website. Being able to watch the changes in energy usage showed students how their small changes, when combined, make a big impact.
During the two-week competition, savings ranged from 8% to nearly 20% at the five participating schools. The winning school, Chase STEM Academy, saved almost $1,800.
Not only are Toledo Public Schools better managing its operations after partnering with PCC, but students had fun implementing ideas that saved the district money. These savings were used to purchase additional and improved equipment for its students, making this project a win-win for everyone involved.