Energy Efficiency

Energy retrofits may employ one or more energy-efficiency measures (EEMs) to maximize occupant comfort and reduce building energy use. EEMs that are frequently implemented in schools include: improving insulation; upgrading heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and water heating systems; reducing air leakage through air-sealing; installing energy-efficient windows (e.g., insulated glazing units); upgrading to energy-efficient lighting; adding occupancy- or daylight-sensing lighting controls; installing advanced controls and fault diagnostic systems; or changing building operation protocols (e.g., coordinating the use of HVAC systems for maximum comfort only during occupied hours). Below are links to helpful Better Buildings Resources on EEMs. 

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  • Warner Middle School in Xenia, Ohio, is the only middle school in the nine-building portfolio of the Xenia Community School District. The district identified two main savings opportunities in the Warner facilities: upgrading garage lighting to LEDs and an energy service agreement to include building HVAC controls. The 14-month project resulted in an annual energy savings of 16 percent and annual cost savings of $27,500. 

Renewable Energy 

Renewable energy, such as photovoltaic (PV) panels, may be installed in a new construction project or during a retrofit to offset a school’s base energy use and resulting environmental footprint. Financing for renewable energy is available, commonly through a power purchase agreement (PPA), an agreement to purchase power from a solar or wind power provider or a utility at a certain cost over a defined timeframe. 

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