Energy & Resource conservation Program

  • The following guidelines are set forth to establish standard practices to conserve energy and natural resources while maintaining optimum working conditions and sound financial management (Policy 6810).

    Resource conservation goals for the district:

    • Reduce the district’s demand for energy and water.
    • Avoid unnecessary utility costs.
    • Minimize the amount of waste of consumable materials.
    • Promote conservation principles with all students and district staff.

    It is the joint responsibility of administrators, support personnel, teachers, and students to contribute to energy efficiency and avoid unnecessary utility costs to ensure the achievement of energy savings throughout the district. The resource conservation program will provide district staff with training and guidance on the best practices to accomplish conservation goals. The site administrator will be provided with information reflecting the utility consumption for his/her building on a regular basis and reports are to be shared with the building staff. Facilities are encouraged to set an example of environmental stewardship and develop responsible behaviors toward natural resource use.

    FACILITY LIGHTING

    • Where possible, we are all encouraged to take full advantage of natural light in classrooms and work areas. Consider leaving artificial lights off or use multi-level lighting when natural illumination is adequate.
    • When classrooms, shops, and offices will be unoccupied for 5 minutes or longer, lights should be switched off. Occupancy lighting controls will be used when applicable for maximum lighting efficiencies.
    • When gyms, auditoriums, and multi-purpose rooms will be unoccupied for 30 minutes or longer, lights should be off (or half-off where applicable).
    • Lighting in hallways and commons areas should be turned off at the end of the school day or when no longer needed for scheduled activities and events.
    • For school activities, events, and facility use beyond school hours, use the amount of lighting necessary in the occupied areas only.
    • Night custodians should only turn on lights in the immediate area in which they are working.
    • All outside lights will be turned off during daylight hours, using photo sensors where possible.
    • Outside building and parking lot lights should be scheduled off between 11:10 pm - 5:50 am (or 10 minutes after building is secured and 10 minutes prior to first custodian arrival). Safety lighting will be operated at a necessary minimum.

    HVAC SYSTEMS - HEATING, VENTILATION & AIR CONDITIONING

    General Guidelines

    • HVAC systems should be operated in the most economical way possible to provide the indoor climate that is appropriate for a specific activity, meets indoor air quality standards, and protects equipment.
    • A school closure of three or more days, including weekends, will be viewed as an opportunity for energy conservation and HVAC systems will be set for holiday scheduling.
    • After-hour operation of building HVAC systems must be authorized by the administrator and follow Facility Use and Rental procedures.
    • Every opportunity to decrease HVAC system operating times should be considered by the Resource Conservation Manager and site administrator. These may include early dismissal, canceled school, inclement weather days, in-service days, and other canceled events or activities.

    School Days

    • On regular school days, the HVAC system start up times are set sequentially to minimize demand charges and to assure achievement of temperature set points prior to occupancy.

    Area Heating Set Point Maximum
    Auditoriums 70° F
    Classrooms 70° F
    Gyms and Exercise Room 66° F
    Locker Rooms 70° F
    Hallways 66° F
    Kitchens, Cafeterias, Multi-Purpose Rooms 68° F
    Libraries 70° F
    Maintenance Shops/Warehouses 66° F
    Offices 70° F
    School Shops 66° F
    Storage & Unoccupied Spaces 55° F

    Acceptable temperature deviation from set point is 2ºF heating and 4°F cooling by using local thermostat or central control energy management system. Some variations may be allowed based on specific HVAC system and facility needs. All set points are subject to change as the needs of the district change.

    • Air conditioning set points shall be no less than 74ºF during occupancy and 85ºF during unoccupied periods. Under no circumstances will air conditioning be used in unoccupied rooms during the summer months. Exception: computer lab and server room cooling set points should be set at 72ºF to protect equipment. Close doors and windows when the air conditioning equipment is in operation.
    • When operable windows are available, air conditioning should not be used if the outside air temperature is cooler than the indoor space temperature.
    • Staff members are responsible for closing windows, blinds, drapes, and shades in their individual work spaces at the end of each day to minimize heat loss. 

    Nights, Weekends, Holidays and Vacation Days

    • At night and on weekends and holidays, the building shall be operated at an unoccupied temperature set point of 55ºF. Some variations may be allowed based on specific HVAC system and facility needs.
    • Beyond regular school hours and days, normal HVAC will be provided for authorized school activities and events and approved Facility Use, but will not be provided for informal or “pick up” activities.
    • On weekdays when school is not in session, the entire building shall be operated at unoccupied settings. If offices and classrooms are occupied by regularly assigned staff, zone heating shall be used rather than heating the entire building. HVAC settings for zoned areas shall be the same as regular school day operation.

    DOMESTIC WATER HEATERS

    • Thermostats for water heaters servicing washrooms and classrooms will be set not to exceed 120ºF.
    • Thermostats for dishwashing boosters and water heaters servicing kitchens will be set not to exceed the minimum necessary to generate a water temperature of 180ºF at the jets.
    • Hot water boosters for dishwashers shall be operated only when the dishwasher is in service. 

    ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES / EQUIPMENT

    • Individuals are responsible for the electrical appliances in their work spaces.
    • All electrical office and classroom appliances should be turned off at the end of the work day, including computers, monitors, printers, copiers, scanners, desk lights and display lights. Exception: main building servers.
    • For safety and energy reasons, space heaters are to be eliminated from use in all buildings.
    • Consider energy efficient (i.e., “Energy Star”) products when appliances are replaced or purchased new.
    • Minimize the number of refrigerators and freezers outside of the kitchens. Combine multiple units in common areas.
    • All refrigerators and freezers are to be cleaned out and unplugged during summer break. Leave doors propped open to prevent mold.
    • Facilities and food service will control the shutdown of all kitchen refrigeration and equipment.
    • Kilns, self-cleaning ovens, washers/dryers and any other high-energy use items should only be activated between 2 pm and 5 am to minimize peak electrical demand charges. 

    DOMESTIC WATER USE AND IRRIGATION

    • Students and staff are expected to practice water conservation at every opportunity.
    • Building plumbing and irrigation equipment leaks are to be reported and repaired as soon as possible.
    • Landscaping should use a drought-tolerant design and native plants whenever possible. These areas will not be irrigated once established.
    • Irrigation months shall be limited to April through October. During non-irrigation months, meters shall be deactivated with the proper utility agency.
    • Irrigation timers will be programmed for the most efficient watering schedule for a specified landscape and soil type. Irrigation control systems will only be operated by district grounds staff.
    • All outdoor watering should be scheduled to minimize evaporation, prevent disease, and protect irrigation equipment.
    • During drought seasons, irrigation will be limited to secondary school playfields and newly planted landscape beds and dress lawns. 

    SOLID WASTE AND RECYCLING

    • All students and staff should consider Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling whenever possible to minimize the amount of solid waste entering our dumpsters and landfills.
    • The custodial staff will monitor the quantity in the garbage and recycling dumpsters. Dumpster size and frequency of pick-ups will be adjusted according to need and cost economy.
    • Regular hauling service will be discontinued and put into “On Call” status during winter and summer vacations.