Barnwell School District 45 (BSD45), located in the coastal plains of southwestern South Carolina, educates approximately 2,500 students in four buildings with more than 527,000 square feet of floor space. The mission of BSD45 is to provide challenging, appropriately-focused educational opportunities for our children in a safe and nurturing school environment. Teaching our students, faculty, staff, and community members to become good stewards of the environment became a top priority when BSD45 established a partnership with Energy Education, Inc. (EEI) in November of 2009. During the four-month fast-track period, the district and EEI hired an energy education specialist, purchased EnergyCAP database software to track energy consumption, started auditing buildings, and most importantly, set forth procedures to implement the board-approved energy conservation guidelines. Additionally, the district became an ENERGY STAR Partner in August of 2010.
BSD45 has implemented several energy-saving measures in addition to its partnership with EEI. An Energy Education specialist conducts approximately 10 energy audits per week. Additionally, nightly, weekend, and holiday shutdowns are now the norm. Most of BSD45's energy savings are a direct result of shutting the building down properly on a daily basis during unoccupied times. A weekly summary of each energy audit is sent to the superintendent, with quarterly reports being sent to the principals of each school. BSD45 also implemented team cleaning during the summer months, where all buildings were under a full shutdown except for the one being cleaned.
Most of our energy-conservation efforts are people-oriented; however, BSD45 did implement several mechanical-oriented energy-saving measures. First, T12 ballasts/bulbs were retrofitted with T8 ballasts/bulbs at the primary school and administrative building. Next, occupancy sensors were installed in multiple restrooms at Barnwell Primary and all restrooms and the gym locker rooms at Barnwell High. Also, multiple programmable thermostats (p-stats) were installed for roof-top HVAC units throughout the district. Last, two-hour twist timers were installed for the lights at Barnwell High's tennis courts.
As of March 2010, BSD45 has reduced its energy cost by more than 23%. This equates to a greenhouse gas reduction of 983 metric tons of CO2, which is equivalent to taking 176 cars off the road for a year or growing 25,146 tree seedlings for 10 years. Furthermore, the average ENERGY STAR rating for BSD45's four buildings was 96.