Polk County Public Schools’ Energy Management department helps to improve energy efficiency to save the planet’s nonrenewable resources; helps maintain a quality learning environment for students, teachers, and staff; and helps save dollars that the school district can productively reinvest in ongoing educational activities.
Since its inception in 1991, the Energy Management department has achieved a cost avoidance of more than $89,000,000. While the school district’s square footage has increased by over 74 percent, electricity usage has increased by only 17 percent, and gas and water usage have actually decreased by 40 percent and almost 35 percent respectively.
The average yearly cost per student for electricity, water, and gas in our Polk County public schools is about:
- Elementary school student: $150
- Middle school student: $160
- High school student: $180
The ENERGY STAR program is a partnership of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy designed to save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices. The EPA awarded Polk County Public Schools with the distinction of “Leader’s Top Performer” for maintaining a portfolio-wide average of 95. The school district has also earned top ENERGY STAR for superior energy performance for 119 schools.
Energy Saving Tips
- Replace incandescent lamps with compact fluorescents, for a 74 percent cost savings
- Install time controls on water heaters so water heaters are only on when needed
- Turn thermostats up, especially when the home or building is unoccupied; results in a 5-7% cost savings for each degree
- Seal around doors and windows to keep out hot air and humidity
- Turn off lights and ceiling fans when you leave a room
- Close blinds or tint windows to keep out the sun’s rays, which increase temperature and fade furnishings
- Put electronics on a power strip and turn off strip when not in use; electronics consume electricity when plugged in even when turned off
- Buy Energy Star rated appliances. Click here to see what makes a product Energy Star efficient.