School’s Out – and the Lights Should Be, Too

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When it comes to energy conservation, facility and energy managers across Texas schools are at the head of their class.

For years now, the men and women who oversee buildings and energy for Texas public and private schools have taken tremendous steps to ensure efficient energy consumption that translates into more money focused on teaching.

As with any great effort, though, there’s always more that can be done.

To stay among the best of the best, many facility and energy managers now are looking to reduce year-round spending by participating in 4CP notification and demand reduction programs. These programs can help certain large commercial customers, including some schools, reduce what they pay their local Transmission and Distribution Utility to deliver power to their facilities.

A lower hanging opportunity is retrofitting school lighting systems with LEDs. Light Emitting Diodes use significantly less electricity and last longer than other lighting systems. They also produce less heat and it often takes fewer of them to produce the same lighting as traditional fluorescent lights, which means less energy consumption and less maintenance.

In addition to offering its customers a free 4CP program, TXU Energy has contract options that will help pay for qualified energy efficiency projects, like installing LED systems. The TXU GreenBack program has helped thousands of commercial customers invest in energy conservation projects that will deliver savings for decades to come.

For new school energy managers, here’s a checklist of efforts to keep electricity consumption in check this summer:

  1. Use automated controls to ensure thermostat settings provide safe and comfortable buildings for the limited staff in schools and other school-owned properties.
  2. Maximize the opportunity to limit system runtimes during the hottest months of the year.
  3. Conduct maintenance like replacing ventilation system filters; servicing blower motors and control systems; inspecting worn window and door seals, cafeteria over seals and refrigerator coils.
  4. Unplug or activate smart power strips to prevent computers, vending machines and small appliances from unnecessarily consuming electricity even in the off position.
  5. Work with school administrators to manage when and where they schedule summer meetings, summer classes and in-service days.

Contact your TXU Energy sales executive for more cost-savings ideas and for information about the company’s 4CP and TXU GreenBack programs.

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