School District Saves $394,000 on Utility Costs Over Three Years

Shawnee Local School District energy savings Ohio
Elmwood Primary School in Lima, Ohio. Credit: Shawnee Local School District

The Shawnee Local School District in Lima, Ohio saved more than $394,000 on utility costs from 2014 through 2017 after undertaking an extensive energy management project in 2013. That amount is at least $40,000 more than the district originally expected to save.

Working in collaboration with Energy Optimizers, USA, the project for Shawnee Local Schools included upgrading interior and exterior lighting systems and computer systems as well as installing occupancy sensors, smart kitchen controls, and retrofitting boilers and chillers in the district.

After the project was completed in May 2014, figures from that June through May of last year show that the district lowered energy costs by more than $394,000. Electric consumption is down by 12.9% and gas consumption is down by 12.7%, Energy Optimizers says, with the savings normalized to account for weather and cost outliers.

“By investing in relatively simple and proven energy conservation measures, we have cut our utility bills by a staggering amount,” James Spyker, Shawnee Local Schools facility manager said in an announcement about the project. “This is great news for our district and our taxpayers, but most of all, for our students. The dollars we are saving have a direct impact on our classrooms.”

Most of the project was funded through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission’s House Bill 264 energy conservation program, according to Energy Optimizers. Last year Energy Optimizers announced several other school district projects in the state. In July, the Springfield Local School District in Akron, Ohio is expected to save more than $82,000 on annual utility and operational costs. The South Central Local School District announced in August that it had achieved savings of more than $104,000 in utility costs over three years.

Besides energy retrofits, schools nationwide are increasingly being powered by solar energy. A report published in December from the Solar Energy Industries Association, the Solar Foundation, and the clean energy nonprofit Generation 180 showed that more K-12 schools are installing PV and solar water heating, leading to greater savings.

Mark your calendars: The 3rd Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference takes place May 15 – 17, 2018 in Denver. Learn more here.

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