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Update 10/21/13

The start of the new school year marked the first full year of completion for the Dublin City Schools Energy Project.  After working for over two years to make energy improvements around the district and after watching the energy measures in use, it is apparent that the district is both saving operational funds and improving the learning environments for its students.  Temperatures are more consistent throughout the buildings and HVAC equipment is more reliable.  If you have attended any number of events held in one of the many gymnasiums, you probably have noticed the brighter lights.  The new lights not only provide whiter, brighter light, but they reduce energy consumption by over half!

All of the energy projects have saved the district over 12,100 MWh of electricity and 450 MCF of natural gas, which equates to over $1.7 Million in reduced building operating costs!  The 2012-2013 school year alone saw a savings of over 6, 350 MWh of electricity and 280 MCF of natural gas.  This reduction in consumption provided a savings of over $998,000!  Dublin City Schools is well on their way to meeting the project savings goal of $2.257 Million by the end of the 2016-2017 school year.  At the current savings rate, it is anticipated the goal will be reached before the conclusion of the current school year!


Project Update 8/26/2013

 
 
Follow the link above to visit American Electric Power's case study on the success of the energy conservation project at Dublin City Schools. AEP Ohio writes, "With 20 school buildings, nearly 15,000 students and 1,800 teachers and staff to manage, the Dublin City School District rivals that of a university or small Ohio town in its electrical consumption." By implementing measures to conserve energy, Dublin City Schools has been able to get nearly $300,000 back into the district's budget through AEP incentives and rebates. Read the case study and discover the progress that Dublin City Schools has made on reducing, not only its carbon footprint, but also the district's operating costs.
 

Project Update 08/27/2012

 

The HB 264 team (Dublin City Schools, Bruner Corporation, and EIG) has been hard at work over the summer completing energy conservation projects throughout the district.  The construction phase of the project officially ends within the month, but the savings will continue!  In 5 years, Dublin City Schools is expected to realize over $2.25 million in savings.  From the start of the project in March 2011 through June 2012, Dublin City Schools has already received over $500,000 in savings!  Here's an update on the projects completed over the summer:

  • A new high efficiency boiler was installed in the Administration Building which will save on natural gas costs. 
  • The HVAC system in the media center at Indian Run Elementary has been completely reworked and revamped.  The new design will more effectively and efficiently cool and heat the space which previously had difficulty reaching desired temperatures. 
  • The 1919 Building received multiple changes this summer including installing a new high efficiency boiler and replacing all of its heat pumps.  Replacing the heat pumps has already begun to help the building operation by cutting down on the excess humidity within the building. 
  • Additionally, across the district the HVAC controls programming was reviewed and updated ensuring that the buildings are operating in the best way possible.  The upgrade focused on improving comfort, reducing waste, and extending equipment lifespan.  The control systems now ensure that all equipment is turned off when it is not needed.

Even though the entirety of the project is scheduled to save Dublin City Schools over $2.25 million, there are additional benefits that Dublin City Schools will also experience.  Some of these items include maintenance costs on items like light bulbs.  Through the HB 264 project, long life light bulbs have been installed in various locations at every school.  The long life bulbs will allow for fewer bulb and ballast replacements every year therefore saving on material and labor costs.  Additionally, the installation of new high efficiency boilers paired with the optimization of the controls system will similarly save on maintenance costs.  Ideally, the new boilers will require less maintenance and will have an extended operational life span.


 

Project Update 7/2/2012

Summer is officially here, and with it comes high temperatures and high utility costs. In an effort to manage the utility costs due to air conditioning, Dublin City Schools is actively managing when and for how long each building is cooled. All maintenance schedules for the summer are being tracked allowing for only the air handlers serving the spaces being worked in to be turned on. Temperature set points have been maximized for comfort as well as savings. When the buildings are unoccupied the air conditioning equipment is only allowed to turn on if the temperature in the building is becoming too high to properly cool the building again when the air is next scheduled.

In addition, every building in the Dublin City Schools district actively tracks the amount of power the building is consuming. The power consumption is tracked and used to determine if the building is operating properly and to ensure unnecessary equipment is being properly turned off. Once the school year begins again, students will have access to this data for educational purposes!
 



Project Update 10/25/2012

 

Have you visited Indian Run Elementary School recently?  Did you happen to notice that the noisy unit ventilator heating and cooling units in all of the classrooms have disappeared?

 

As part of the HB 264 project all classroom heating and cooling units have been replaced with a variable refrigerant flow system (VRF).  This system is unique in the fact that it allows heat to be redistributed within the building.  If one classroom is hot the system can remove the excess heat and lower the temperature while moving the excess heat into another classroom that is too cold.   This ability to transfer heat between rooms ensures that each space is almost always at the requested temperature.  Combining this with the fact that the units are extremely quite makes each room a better learning environment.

 

VRF systems require one condensing unit for multiple spaces. Every space has its own evaporator and temperature controls.  This allows for savings because the smaller units can be run less frequently and the energy can be shared between the rooms.  Also the boilers can be reduced in size and used less frequently.  Plus, previously water was used as the heat transfer device in an open system (meaning it was continually replaced). Now the system relies on a fixed amount of total refrigerant rather than using water once before sending it down the drain.

 

These factors combine and lead to savings in electric, natural gas, and water consumption.  In fact, the bills for July 2011 - June 2012 compared to July 2010 to June 2011 have seen the following reductions: electric, 7%; water, 52%; natural gas 56%!  This was a total savings of over $33,000!

 

For more information on VRF systems and how they work you can visit these informative websites:


Project Update 01/04/2012

 

The second half of the school year is fast approaching and with it the project focus has shifted to commissioning and building controls. The process of commissioning will ensure that the building HVAC equipment is operating properly. Along with inspecting the system equipment , the building automation system, or HVAC controls, will also be reviewed and updated for optimum performance.

These processes allow Dublin City Schools to have ideal learning conditions for its students. They also ensure that no space is over-conditioned with too much heat in winter or too much cold in summer, therefore saving in operating costs.

 

 
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Project Update 10/17/2011

 
Dublin City Schools was recently awarded a check from AEP totaling over $90,500 due to the money that has been saved through the installation of more energy efficient lighting, HVAC equipment, and more. The installation of the energy efficient equipment is part of the district's $5.7 million energy conservation program being funded through an interest free loan. The energy conservation program will generate enough energy savings to repay the loan over the course of the next 15 years.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Project Update 9/7/2011

School is back in session and the first phase of the energy conservation project is complete! Now it is time to watch the energy savings come rolling in! Across the district the project should save over $400,000 per year! These savings are being monitored on a monthly basis to ensure Dublin City Schools receives the savings that were predicted. Watch this site for updates on how much the district has saved to date. The savings from the energy conservation project provide Dublin City Schools with the opportunity to spend less money on building operation and more on the education of its students.




Project Update 8/3/2011

The school year is about to begin! As students, faculty and staff in the Dublin City School District return from summer break, they will be met by a few changes to the school buildings.

Dublin City Schools and Bruner Corporation have spent the summer months busily implementing energy conservation projects throughout the district that will ultimately save the district money in yearly operating costs. These projects will significantly lower the district’s monthly energy bills, and other savings are being realized by the district as they apply for rebates through AEP’s gridSMART program. The rebate money is being awarded to the district for choosing to install higher efficiency equipment and energy control devices. One of the eligible projects includes retrofitting the high bay lighting in all gymnasiums and many of the libraries to high efficiency T8 bulbs and ballasts. This change will not only conserve energy, but it will also make the locations significantly brighter and more pleasant. Occupation sensors have been installed in all gyms throughout the district to ensure the lights are on when needed and off when the room is unoccupied. These changes, along with other energy conservation acts, have allowed the district to apply for $93,000 in rebates from AEP gridSMART.

Solar PV Array at Jerome High School
Solar PV Array at Jerome High School

Other new additions to the district include the six solar hot water panels installed on the roof of Jerome High School. A pump will run water from a large storage tank to the roof and through the collectors allowing the water to gain heat as it circulates through the collectors. The heated water will then be used to meet much of the hot water demand by the school. Performance data from the collectors will continuously be collected and used to understand how they are working by both district staff and students. The panels will provide the students at Jerome, and across the district, with hands-on learning about renewable energy technology, math, science and engineering topics. Watch for upcoming information about a ribbon cutting ceremony to be held at Jerome later this fall.

Additional energy conservation measures include replacing boilers at Scioto and Coffman high schools, Grizzell middle school and Bailey and Scottish Corners elementary schools. Water heaters at Sells and Davis middle schools and Bailey and Pinney elementary schools were also replaced. Indian Run received a completely new HVAC system. Every school has received vending machine controls that turn the machines off when the building is unoccupied.

By the start of classes on August 25th the district will be ready to welcome students back to a place that uses less energy, therefore saving money, while increasing student comfort and learning opportunities and making the district a little greener!