Evaluating Energy Usage in K-12 Schools from a Statewide Perspective
How do you benchmark more than 900 school buildings and then audit the energy inefficient buildings in less than a year? And then how do you implement suggestions identified in the audit to realize energy savings? Those were the questions asked by the state of Nebraska when they released a request for proposals (RFP) in April 2011. They asked engineering teams to put together proposals to accomplish the above tasks. The team of the Schemmer Associates and Waldinger Corp. was selected from several respondents to provide services. The team worked closely with the Nebraska Energy Office (NEO) to devise and execute a plan that would meet the expectations of the NEO and provide actionable information for the schools involved in the study. The execution portion was removed from the project, which allowed school districts to work with engineers and contractors of their choice. Beginning in early July, every school district in the state was invited to participate in the program. Approximately 60% of the school districts responded to the initial requests for utility bills. Of the approximately 979 buildings, 57 received investment-grade audits and were given energy master plans to enable them to cut their utility costs at their own pace.