Leverage for Efficiency, Accountability and Performance (LEAP) Fund for performance audits
Energy management at its most basic level is simply a process used to reduce costs and energy usage. Effective energy management programs span the range from simple “home grown programs” to sophisticated consultant supported methods. Low cost and easy ways to reduce energy usage and expenses such as “turn off the lights” campaigns within a workplace or automated control systems and third party energy usage tracking programs can be effective. More sophisticated energy management programs can be tailored to achieve cost savings or the broader goal of reducing emissions.
Districtwide Energy Policies Track Costs, Lead to Savings
Medina City School District (see audit page 1-5)
- Purchases electricity and gas from the Ohio Schools Council, a consortium of 147 school districts, educational service centers, joint vocational districts and developmental disabilities boards in 28 northern Ohio counties.
- Uses technology to control temperatures at all buildings and to monitor the HVAC system districtwide.
- Tracks energy costs and usage at the building level and compares the results to previous years.
- Uses board policies, administrative guidelines, and staff newsletters to communicate energy goals and steps to reduce usage.
- Undergoes periodic energy audits conducted by an outside contractor to identify additional ways to reduce use and costs.
- Has incorporated energy conservation into its curriculum.
- Four Medina City School District buildings have achieved Energy Star Ratings.
Having Board adopted guidelines that are clear and comprehensive on energy use has been the key to our success. We are able to use these guidelines as a reference point for all our efforts to reduce utility costs. A solid energy conservation program must contain clear and easy to manage procedures and policies."Jon Burkhart
Director of Business Affairs
Medina City Schools
Conservation Initiative Promotes Cleaner, Healthier Communities; Reduced Costs and Job Creation
The Hamilton County Climate Initiative (HCCI) is a cooperative, nonpartisan effort facilitated by volunteers from the city, county, Duke Energy, Black and Veatch Consulting, and Miami University. The initiative, created in 2008, describes itself as a “cooperative effort of political subdivisions to promote cleaner, healthier communities, reduced costs and job creation through energy conservation and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with Hamilton County.”
Chaired by Cincinnati Zoo President and wildlife expert Thane Maynard, the Initiative resulted in the creation of a county-wide action plan for reducing the impact of local governments and communities on the issue of global climate change. Local government representatives developed a Master List of Strategy Alternatives from which individual communities could customize individual action plans.
These included strategies for development, energy, solid waste and food production, and transportation. Sample resolutions and case studies were also included to help the participating governments develop their climate plans. For example, the use of LED street lights and traffic signals was suggested in the area of energy; Ohio and national examples of municipalities that had implemented LED lights and signals (e.g. Bowling Green, Ohio) were included.
Finally, a cost-recovery calculator was included so that participating governments could determine the annual cost savings and how long it would take to achieve full cost recovery.
Energy Action Policy Sets Guidelines, Goals
Charles County, Maryland
Charles County’s Energy Action Policy for County Facilities for 2010 includes mandatory steps to save energy and reduce costs. The policy includes specific goals; lists who is responsible for ensuring adherence to the guidelines; and includes specific parameters for lighting, maximum illumination levels, and heating/cooling operational requirements. It also prohibits the use of personal appliances and requires employees to turn off all office equipment when not in use and turn off all computers and monitors when not in use for an hour or more.
Publication Provides Comprehensive Overview of Local Government Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Strategies
United States Environmental Protection Agency
The United States Environmental Protection Agency Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Guides provide a comprehensive, straightforward overview of local government greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies that local governments can employ. Topics include energy efficiency, transportation, community planning and design, solid waste and materials management, and renewable energy. Local government staff and elected officials developing projects can use these guides to plan, implement, and evaluate climate and energy projects. Each guide focuses on one approach to greenhouse gas emission reductions and includes examples and case studies highlighting achievable results from communities across the United States.