School District’s Energy Management Program
The School System’s Energy Management Program continues to earn recognition from national and state agencies for reducing energy usage. Dr. John Swang, director of the program, appeared before the School Board at its September meeting to report that the School System had reduced its energy usage by 15.6 percent, leading to an energy cost avoidance of $1,596,590.
“We’ve had a very successful year,” Dr. Swang said, adding that the System received three national awards as a result, the “Energy Milestone Award” from SEE (Schools for Energy Efficiency), an Energy Star-Leader Certificate from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and, the latest being an Energy Star Label for the Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s distinguished ENERGY STAR Label went to the Tech Center for the School System's efforts to protect the environment through superior energy performance. The Tech Center is the first and only school district facility in the State of Louisiana to receive the designation, Dr. Swang stated.
The ENERGY STAR Label identifies the Tech Center as one of 5,402 energy efficient buildings in the nation, and one of only 30 in the state to be so designated. The Tech Center is using about 35 percent less energy than average buildings. By implementing innovative controls and energy-monitoring procedures, the center lowered its energy costs by 38.4 percent and avoided energy costs totaling more than $30,000.
“St. Tammany Parish Public School System is pleased to accept the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Label designation for the Technology Center,” said Gayle Sloan, Schools Superintendent. “We are committed to creating an energy efficient environment. Through this project we have lowered our overall energy costs and this benefits our entire School System.”
In August, the EPA awarded the School System the Energy Star-Leader Award for its leadership in improving its average energy performance rating and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through superior energy management. “We are the first and only School District in the State of Louisiana to receive this honor, and one of only 42 school districts in the entire nation so designated,” Dr. Swang reported. “The EPA tells us that by getting both these awards, our School District is showing superior management and environmental leadership.”
In addition, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources awarded the School Board its Environmental Leadership Award, in recognition of outstanding leadership in adopting and implementing energy efficiency measures. The award certificate states that students and faculty will enjoy the benefits of the School Board’s fiscally-prudent and environmentally beneficial energy management practices in protecting the environment, managing natural resources and benefitting the community.
The SEE program’s award banner was presented to the School Board for saving over $1 million in energy costs.
Dr. Swang commended the students, teachers and staff throughout the parish for changing behavior patterns and taking part in the effort to turn off unneeded lights, switching off computers and monitors when not in use, and overall thermostat monitoring to save energy.
His staff was also on hand for his presentation to the Board. They are Pat Flanagan, who implemented data tracking and results monitoring efforts; Barry Pichon, who served as liaison to the school staffs (administrative, maintenance, and custodial); and Cathy Serpas, who helped organize the program and will take over data tracking records keeping.