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Energy Management Program Yields Big Results

The Pajaro Valley Unified School District saved nearly $1.8 million in energy costs over the past four years.

Faculty and staff at Pajaro Valley Unified School District have chalked up almost two million dollars in savings after a four year energy management program. Their energy-efficient practices have earned big savings—and now those good habits are earning the organization national recognition.

Pajaro Valley Unified School District has achieved $1,776,728 in cost savings in 47 months since forming a strategic alliance with Energy Education, a national energy conservation company, which will present its Energy Excellence Award during the board meeting last Wednesday.

“Reaching this savings mark is a significant milestone. Pajaro Valley Unified School District has achieved success by consistently implementing the organizational behavior-based approach to energy conservation and maintaining productive efforts at all levels of the organization,” said Dr. William S. Spears, Chairman and Founder of Energy Education.

District Superintendent Dorma Baker stated, “The savings achieved as a result of our energy conservation program is a true testimony to commitment of our entire staff to reduce energy use and save money,” said Ms. Baker. “It also is a tremendous testimony to our community of the district’s good stewardship of taxpayer dollars and our efforts to keep every dollar possible where it is needed most—in the classroom.”

As part of the program, the district’s Energy Education Specialist Steve Okamura tracks energy consumption—including electricity, water, sewer, natural gas and fuel oil—using energy-accounting software. He compares current energy use to a baseline period and calculates the amount of energy that would have been used had conservation and management practices not been implemented. By tracking consumption and analyzing energy use, he can quickly identify and correct areas that need immediate attention.

Last year, over 18 of the district’s school sites were awarded the prestigious Energy Star Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. District officials believe another dozen will receive the award later this year.

The district has also established a partnership with the Monterey Chapter of the US Green Building Council (USGBC). The partnership with the USGBC is working to create additional sustainable energy reductions. Most important, the partnership is working to integrate sustainable building practices into the school district’s upcoming Measure L school bond going before voters in November. Sustainable building practices and environmental stewardship will be critical components to the district’s bond projects.

—Brett McFadden, Chief Business Officer at the Pajaro Valley Unified School District

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