Green Schools Initiative Promises Back to School Energy Savings

September 9, 2010

The Ontario government is in the middle of an aggressive program to reduce energy consumption and green house gas emissions in its publicly funded schools. This year schools in Ontario will spend approximately $460 million on utility bills. Without a clear understanding of where this energy consumption is taking place, however, it is impossible to manage it.

Under the Green Schools Pilot Initiative, the Ministry of Research and Innovation has partnered with the Ministry of Education to invest over $20 million in green products and technologies in 150 Ontario Schools.

Triacta Power Technologies was chosen to participate in this exciting initiative — deploying IP-based smart meters to monitor energy consumption in 24 schools across 4 school boards.

In a recent press release, Rainbow District School Board Chair Tyler Campbell high-lighted the critical role Triacta smart meters play in energy conservation.

"In all effective energy plans, monitoring is key to achieving savings. When you know where and when energy is being used, you can take measures to reduce costs. Small behavioural changes can have a huge impact. You can also get the maximum benefit from any renewal project, be it new windows, a more efficient heating system, or sensors to turn lights on and off.”

Once energy consumption is being measured, the critical next step is to share the information. From our work with Institutional customers we have learned that making resource consumption data readily visible to a broad audience (on display in public spaces such as halls and cafeterias) cultivates ownership among all stakeholders and promotes energy conservation. Triacta's Meter Management Software (PowerHawk Manager) has live dashboard and desktop update capability to take full advantage of this collective drive to reduce consumption.

"With today's funding we will build on these efforts by introducing Triacta metering in a greater number of schools, and by installing LCD screens in school lobbies to showcase data in real time. This will serve as a dynamic teaching tool. Students and staff will be able to see just how much water, gas and electricity is being used in the building throughout the day. There will also be year-to-date and year-over-year data projected on the screens, with targets for energy savings so everyone can learn how they are contributing to a bigger goal.”

Triacta is engaged with many institutions across North America (schools, government, and government property management organizations) to help manage energy and other resource usage. As we continue to work with our Institutional partners we will share lessons learned with the hope of helping others quick-start their energy management program.

Gord Echlin, VP Sales and Marketing, Triacta