School Board Spends Less on Energy, More on Education

September 22, 2011

Already a leader among Colorado School boards with aggressive programs that address educational reform, school safety, and student/staff diversity, Aurora Public School Board of Education (APS) is once again blazing the trail of educational progress with its energy awareness and conservation efforts. Since 2007, APS has saved well over half a million dollars through energy conservation and rebate programs — motivating it to find even more ways to spend less on energy and more on education.

Since 2007, APS has saved well over half a million dollars through energy conservation and rebate programs — motivating it to find even more ways to spend less on energy and more on education.

APS Energy Consultant Tim "Bo" Bacon says the financial savings the school board is now enjoying are due to improved operational practices, increased teacher and staff education and awareness, and facility improvements. From school re-lamping projects to heavy participation in the district's Green Star Program, APS has found ways to make people more aware of the energy they are consuming and more responsible for conserving it.

The latest APS energy conservation initiative involves the deployment of Triacta Smart meters to monitor the electrical consumption of kitchen facilities at 30 APS locations. Kitchen facilities are one of the board's largest single users of electricity. As the program rolls out, energy consumption in the kitchens will be billed directly to the board's Nutrition Services Group — making them accountable for consumption and more vested in finding ways to reduce it.

Electrical cost for APS are approximately $4.5 million annually, with Nutrition Services accounting for anywhere between 15 to 20 percent of that total. Noting that consumption can drop by as much as 25% when people are held accountable for their own energy costs, Bacon conservatively estimates savings of between $160,000 and $225,00 annually for this new initiative.

Spending less on energy and more on education is the new mantra for Bacon and the Aurora Public School Board. Smart meters paving the way for smart kids.

Gord Echlin, VP Sales and Marketing, Triacta