The mission of the Energy Management Department is to provide a comfortable and sustainable environment throughout all district facilities which will enhance student academic performance, innovative ideas, athletic competitiveness and an excellent working environment. We are applying the latest in energy savings technology for controlling the indoor air quality. By having a conservative approach to the energy management program, and knowing that we represent the taxpayers, our challenge is to implement the latest in innovative ideas in order to reduce utility costs so that our district can apply these savings to education.
By saving electricity, water and natural gas, not only do we create a better environment for our students and staff, we also establish our district as “clean and green” as we reduce the demand for these natural resources.
In 2007, the Texas legislature passed HB 3693 requiring all school districts to reduce energy consumption by 5% and to make utility consumption reports available to the public. With this in mind, our success will be measured by our energy savings, so we strive to find ways and means to achieve that goal.
Waco ISD Energy Management's focus is to reduce utility usage by finding and identifying ways that directly curve the unnecessary Utility waste. Our goal is to provide the best environment for academic and sports, yet, focusing on every possible way to save on utilities.
We do this by:
- To meet with all staff and students to have a moderate change in how they can help do their part to reduce energy in the classroom as well as the entire campus.
- Create awareness and focus with support of our students and teachers, a program called Energy Monitors in each classroom
- Auditing of our campuses/buildings for infiltration of hot humid air, inefficient HVAC equipment and lighting to find possible solutions to rectify the issues that lead to discomfort
- Districtwide energy committees to discuss energy usage and how to improve their environment
- To have a successful energy management practice while providing the best possible comfort so our students and staff can focus on academics and sports.
Cooperation and Involvement at the Campus Level
Collaboration with the campus Principals, students and teachers in communicating the importance of utility waste-awareness, the involvement of students and teachers can reduce utilities. With student and teacher participation through programs such as “Kids for Kilowatts,” the students will help their campuses save energy being responsive to needs by turning off lights in empty classrooms, gymnasiums, or cafeterias, implementing the 10 minute rule, report bad flush valves from continuous water flowing in commodes and urinals, leaking spigots and faucets, furnace or air conditioners running excessively beyond district temperature standard, and also, participate in meetings for ways to reduce energy. Quarterly meetings with the district head custodians along with continued communication reinforcement of energy conservation to all district staff will encourage and motivate savings.
Lighting constitutes 25% to 30% of the electrical utility costs in our buildings. An LED (light emitting diode) district replacement project was started in January 2017 and it has made a large, positive impact on the reduction of electrical costs. In most cases, LED replacement/retro-fits have just over a year return on investment. Also, the enhanced lighting allows for a cleaner, better learning environment for our students. LED also reduces replacement costs because of their longer longevity. Other ways of reducing lighting costs include the addition of motion sensors and photocell sensors to existing light fixtures in buildings and parking lot lighting.
In the 2014-2015 school year, using a designated and budgeted program, the Energy Management Department set in place a state-of-the-art EMCS (Energy Management Control System) “Server Supervisor” to read all district BACnet-open frontend control systems. This allowed for most manufactured control systems with this protocol to meet our district specifications controlled by one program (Delta platform) and does not submit to one specific manufacture. As a result, our district can benefit from better quality and pricing. These controls greatly benefit the district in energy savings as compared to old, set-back programmable thermostats.
Append timers, using designated budgeted funding, will be added to water heaters, boilers and exhaust fans for reducing usage and increasing savings during unoccupied time periods. This will greatly reduce natural gas energy costs. Since the 2014-2015 school year, we have made strides to the replacement of old, inefficient furnaces and boilers with more efficient 80% to 95% AFUE equipment.
We have made tremendous efforts to reduce water waste by replacing outdated flush valves, old-style faucets and spigots. In collaboration with our Waco ISD Grounds Department, we’ve looked into ways to better irrigate our campus landscapes. Our goal is to utilize potable and irrigation water effectively and efficiently.
The Energy Management Department
The Energy Management Department is motivated and always looking into low-budget options to reduce utility costs. Energy audits, evaluating all district campuses and buildings for leakage & infiltration, annual evaluations of all HVAC equipment for performance & inefficiencies, lead/lag – stagger start of heavy load HVAC equipment for peak load performance, and step-down transformer replacement due to waste are a few programs we are constantly implementing. Our department research carries us towards new and effective ways for enhancing our HVAC equipment efficiencies, reducing energy such in ways that include Chiller condenser coil evaporative cooling, wind generation, solar, and capacitor energy storage are future challenges as we strive to innovatively reduce energy.
Our department's continued efforts have cultivated an awareness to energy waste, and with these efforts has had a great impact to the Waco ISD’s utility budget. Since September of 2014, the District has had a reduction in usage which in-turn has had major impact on utility costs. Since Fall of 2014, a reduction in energy costs have totaled over $1 million in savings.
As we look to the future of energy management, we continue to have an open mind to all opportunities and training to help improve our goals of reducing energy costs, a comfortable atmosphere for our staff and students set forth by our superintendent, Board of Trustees, and support staff at Waco ISD.
Waco ISD Administration Building
501 Franklin Ave.
P.O. Box 27
Waco, Texas 76703-0027
Phone: (254) 755-WISD