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ENERGY STAR News: July/August 2001 — Service and Product Providers

1,000 New York State Schools Improve Efficiency

The collaborative efforts of RLW Analytics and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) have enabled 1,000 New York schools to improve their energy performance through strategic energy management and energy-efficiency upgrades.

The energy cost reduction project was designed by NYSERDA to utilize funding from the System Benefits Charge (SBC) to support schools. Originally conceived as a Consolidated Edison of New York initiative, the project initially included benchmarking only select private schools, but was later expanded to include schools in the upstate utility service areas. The final project, which began in October 1999 and ended in June 2001, was refined to include developing benchmarks through ENERGY STAR of 1,000 schools (500 private schools in the Consolidated Edison service area, and 500 schools in five upstate utilities that collect SBC).

A key element of their work was to conduct telephone surveys with school administrators, input the schools’ data onto the ENERGY STAR Web site and use the online portfolio manager to analyze, track, and compare results to make improvement recommendations.

After the surveys and benchmarks were completed, the lowest-scoring schools received mini-audits and on-site visits, which included a preliminary walk-through audit to identify and analyze potential energy-saving opportunities and presentations about funding and technical support opportunities available through NYSERDA. At the end of each visit, school officials were urged to contact NYSERDA to explore the savings opportunities available to them.

The benefits to the schools were:

  • Schools learned some easily identifiable energy cost reduction measures in lighting, motors, HVAC, and insulation. They also received a report indicating the potential savings and simple payback calculations.
  • Some schools received a lighting upgrade design, photometric layout for direct application, free compact fluorescent light bulbs, and pulse-start metal halide fixtures.
  • Through benchmarking, schools had the opportunity to effectively track their energy costs, and greatly reduce their monthly energy bills.
  • In some situations, RLW Analytics provided a third party assessment and endorsement of performance contract proposals that the schools were considering.

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