Energy Conservation Program
Stafford County Public Schools (SCPS) maintains facilities for over 30,000 students, teachers, and administrative functions at 34 schools and operating sites that make up in excess of 3.9 million square feet. Facilities Services through the Operation & Maintenance Department is charged with the responsibility to provide oversight of the school division’s energy management program. Our energy management program is focused on providing superior support and oversight to our comprehensive K-12 academic environment, while simultaneously accomplishing energy conservation. Energy management in a complex ever-changing environment is a journey as much as it is a destination. New technologies, student and community growth, environmental concerns, the availability of fuels and new regulations and codes are but a few of the challenges an organization must address.
The Division’s Energy Management Program uses our recently approved Energy Management Plan and the Energy Steering Committee to direct and guide a multi-focused approach to conserve and reduce energy. These focus areas include:
- Design Standards – Exceeds the minimum energy code design requirements for all capital projects (new construction and major renovations) including incorporation of high performance building best practices and Energy Star minimum standards.
- Performance Contracting – Utilizes Energy Performance Contracting to introduce energy conservation measures (ECMs) into the Division’s existing schools and operating sites to reduce energy consumption. ECMs implemented include – new efficient lighting, room occupancy sensors, water conservation (low flush), new energy efficient variable frequency drives and motors, building envelop upgrades and vending machine misers. Phase I was completed in 2007, Phase II will be completed in 2011 and Phase III is scheduled to be completed in 2014.
- Retro-Commissioning – Utilizes a retro-commissioning effort to restore mechanical and building control equipment at existing schools and operating site to its original performance intent.
- Behavior Modification – Practices a continuous improvement process every day to review and improve the way schools and operating sites operate with respect to heating and cooling during the school year, summer and holiday breaks. Advocates energy conservation in the school and classrooms.
Energy Star Certification
As part of the SCPS Energy Management program, staff monitors and tracks utility usage for all of Stafford County Public Schools facilities. In early 2013, staff consulted with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enroll in the Energy Star program.
Energy Star is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program that helps organizations save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency. The program identifies energy–efficient buildings that have made strides to reduce energy consumption and reduce pollution through precise management of their facility to the highest energy efficiency standards. The Energy Star program tracks and evaluates the cost, consumption and behavior of each building and then provides a rating between 1-100 points. To gain Energy Star status, the facility must secure a rating of 75 points or greater and must apply for certification each year. Energy Star provides an in depth assessment of each utility such as electric, natural gas, fuel oil, propane and water. Collected data is compared to other similar facilities across the country. Factors such as regional climates, age of the facility, square footage, occupancy load and building usage are considered.
In 2013, the following seven (7) facilities rated high enough to qualify for the Energy Star Award; Brooke Point High School, Colonial Forge High School, Dixon-Smith Middle School, HH Poole Middle School, Hampton Oaks Elementary, Park Ridge Elementary School, Winding Creek Elementary School. In 2015, staff identified three (3) additional schools meeting the Energy Star certification requirements.
Anthony Burns Elementary, Widewater Elementary and Falmouth Elementary
In 2016, staff identified seventeen (17) schools meeting the Energy Star certification requirements, some which have earned it in the past and others for the first time. They are as follows:
Brooke Point, North Stafford and Colonial Forge High Schools, H.H Poole, Shirley Heim, Stafford, Dixon-Smith Middle Schools, Anthony Burns, Conway, Widewater, Winding Creek, Stafford, Grafton Village, Ferry Farm, Hampton Oaks, Park Ridge and Falmouth Elementary Schools.
Staff’s long term goal is to have all facilities qualify and earn the Energy Star Certification. To achieve this, staff continues to evaluate and fine tune our facilities to operate in a highly efficient manner by conducting retro-commissioning and upgrading facilities highly efficient equipment.