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ENERGY STAR Leaders

Rochester School Department

Logo for Rochester School Department Rochester, New Hampshire
Top Performer (2010)

The Rochester School Department, New Hampshire's third-largest school district, consists of 11 schools totaling more than 850,000 square feet and educates more than 4,700 students. Rochester School Department set out to manage its energy use in the early 1990s in order to reduce operating budgets and the district's overall impact on the environment. School administrators selected Honeywell to help advance their efforts and entered into an energy savings performance contract that aimed to increase energy efficiency by focusing on updating aged building systems.  By 1995, the energy management project was complete and the Rochester School Department was benefiting from the improvements, financially and operationally. Within a year of project completion, the district saved more than $200,000 in energy costs compared to the previous year. Overall, the district saved nearly $600,000 more than the project's guaranteed savings of $2.1 million. In 2005, the Rochester School Department decided to embark upon a second phase of the program. The district continued working with Honeywell and signed a contract that focused on technology improvements. Since a majority of the buildings were constructed prior to 1968, the upgrades were instrumental in keeping the schools modern, comfortable and energy efficient. Phase two included the installation of new ventilation equipment in nine schools, new boilers, access control and digital video security system at Spalding High School, water conservation upgrades, and new windows in five schools. This work included additional energy conservation measures that were not implemented in phase one, such as insulating, sealing and weather-stripping to prevent air leakage around windows, doors and other gaps in the outer layers of the buildings. Other upgrades included additional lighting improvements. Phase two was completed in 2006 and by 2008; the Rochester School Department has saved more than $480,000 in energy cost savings.

The Rochester School Department has been recognized by EPA as an ENERGY STAR Top Performer for achieving a portfolio-wide energy performance rating of 87. Additionally, all 11 of the district's schools have earned the Energy Star label. The Rochester School Department plans on implementing a third phase of improvements, which will include converting the existing oil-fired burners at two of the schools into dual-fuel burners, with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Rochester School Department joined the ENERGY STAR program in 2008.