Elementary School Wins ENERGY STAR Challenge

June 6, 2013
Equipment upgrades and occupant buy-in earned top honors for this New Jersey school.

Demarest Elementary School is at the top of the class when it comes to energy. The Bloomfield, NJ school slashed its energy consumption by 52%, the highest in this year’s 2012 EPA ENERGY STAR National Building Competition.

In fact, thanks in part to Demarest’s efforts, the Bloomfield Public School District saved nearly 4.6 million kBTUs of energy last year and cut costs by nearly $76,000 by focusing on mechanical upgrades, smart management strategies, and behavior modification.

“The school took simple steps to significantly reduce energy use,” says Judith A. Enck, an EPA regional administrator. “School districts and facilities of any kind should look to Bloomfield as a model of what they can achieve.”

Demarest’s inexpensive efficiency strategies included:

  • The school identified and addressed a number of mechanical issues that had been overlooked for many years. One solution included replacing a timer associated with the heating system, which allowed it to run on a more energy-efficient schedule.
  • The head custodian aggressively adjusted boiler operation based on outside temperatures and changes in weather. When the building reaches temperature, all boilers are shut off in a practice the staff calls “toast and coast,” according to ENERGY STAR.
  • The hall lighting schedule was revamped so that lights were dimmed in the early morning and after students were dismissed.
  • The staff took control of energy management in their immediate areas by turning off and unplugging electronic devices, such as vending machines, when they were not needed.

The ENERGY STAR National Building Competition measures energy performance over an entire calendar year. Competitors tracked their building’s monthly energy consumption using Portfolio Manager.

The more than 3,000 participants in the 2012 competition saved a combined total of over three 3 kBTUs of energy and $50 million in utility costs.

Other top energy savers included a convenience store (48.5%), a retail outlet (43.1%), a federal courthouse (36.8%), and a high school (34.6%).

They also reduced annual greenhouse gas emissions equal to the amount of electricity used by more than 43,000 homes.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Buildings, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Building Better Schools

Download this digital resource to better understand the challenges and opportunities in designing and operating educational facilities for safety, sustainability, and performance...

Tips to Keep Facility Management on Track

How do you plan to fill the knowledge gap as seasoned facility managers retire or leave for new opportunities? Learn about the latest strategies including FM tech innovations ...

The Beauty & Benefits of Biophilic Design in the Built Environment

Biophilic design is a hot trend in design, but what is it and how can building professionals incorporate these strategies for the benefits of occupants? This eHandbook offers ...

The Benefits of Migrating from Analog to DMR Two-Way Radios

Are you still using analog two-way radios? Download this white paper and discover the simple and cost-effective migration path to digital DMR radios that deliver improved audio...