Elsmere Elementary School
247 Delaware Avenue
Delmar, NY 12054
Built in 1927, Elsmere Elementary School is the oldest building in the Bethlehem Central School District. A suburban district just a few miles outside of Albany, Bethlehem has a long-standing reputation for educational excellence, and now for energy conservation. At more than 80 years old, Elsmere has educated generations of the community?s children. More than 280 students attended Elsmere last year, and the school also hosts an after-school child care program and has been the site of summer camps and special education programs.
The largest improvement to the physical plant of the school came with a $2.9 million bond project that was recently completed. A state-of-the-art boiler plant was added while the entire electrical system was upgraded. In addition, a centrally-controlled, web-based energy management system (EMS) was installed at Elsmere and all 10 other district facilities. This system allows for greater control during both occupied and unoccupied periods. The new hydronic heating system was designed with numerous zones for better control. The EMS tracks room temperatures and automatically adjusts heating to outside and inside air temperatures. Natural gas use has decreased by almost a third, from 73 kBTU/square foot in 2006 to 52 kBTU/per square foot in 2009.
Along with improving the physical plant, the district analyzed all procedures dealing with energy consumption. Bethlehem hired its first Energy Manager in 2001 and worked with Energy Education Inc. to begin to transform the way it uses energy. These changes have helped the district avoid well over $1 million in energy costs. Electrical use has been exceptionally low at Elsmere for the past 3 years; according to EPA's Portfolio Manager tool, the school ranks just above the 94th percentile for electric conservation compared to similar buildings. An energy conscious staff and feedback from after hours energy audits have been instrumental in these positive outcomes of recent years.
Portfolio Manager was very helpful in validating the district's initiatives. The tool allowed the comparison of Elsmere with ?like schools? to see how it has been performing. Currently, the district is looking into new and innovative ways to increase our ENERGY STAR score and reduce energy costs. The district is a member of an energy-purchasing consortium in partnership with more than 160 other school districts and municipalities. The consortium increases its buying power and decreases fluctuations in commodity cost. The district is also seeking to take advantage of NYSERDA and National Grid incentives to further upgrade the physical plant at all schools and facilities. With incentives, many of the projects have very short return on investment periods, which make them attractive to the district.
Bethlehem Central School District established a Green Team Committee in 2009. The committee examines ways our district can reduce our negative environmental footprint. By taking a comprehensive approach, Bethlehem Central has made great strides in improving student, staff, and community awareness of green issues and concerns.
?Bethlehem CSD is committed to spending the least amount of taxpayer dollars possible on energy. Through a comprehensive energy management program, we have seen great results, but we are not finished. We will continue to seek out ways to decrease costs while maintaining a quality environment for work and play.? -- Paul O'Reilly, Energy Manager, Bethlehem Central School District
Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by Bethlehem Central School District or a representative of this facility. Other building information was verified and submitted to EPA at the time of application. Building energy performance, operating characteristics, and ownership/management may be subject to change over time.
TRC Energy Services
Bethlehem Central School District
Bethlehem Central School District
Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
Facility Type: K-12 School
Total Floorspace: 43342 sf
Year Constructed: 1927
Contract Type: None