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Energy Management

March 2019 - ENERGY STAR K12 Efficiency Webinar Recording: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Amnk5l30aehStgtX2s3nboqYyQlD1SRs/view?usp=sharing

Top Ten List

Ten Reasons Why Teaching About Energy is Essential from U.S. DOE’s EnergySmart Schools provides good reasoning for implementing energy into curriculum.

Energy Policy Examples

The following provide ideas and strategies you can consider when developing your policy. As with most policies, each district has unique situations, with different needs, and any policy should be tailored to address the individual district's circumstances.

The following are provided by Larry Schoff from Energy Efficient Solutions:

SchoolDude Utility Direct Software

This software is a comprehensive utility management module entitled Utility Direct. It is provided and loaded with two years of district buildings utility data for all Energy Essentials Clients. SchoolDude, a premier provider of school maintenance management programs, offers several modules designed to increase efficiencies in school facilities management. All of SchoolDude’s products are endorsed by MSBO, resulting in a discount for Michigan school districts.

Energy Star/EPA Website

Energy Star offers many tools to assist in energy management. One of these tools is a document entitled Guidelines for Energy Management. Another excellent resource is their K-12 page that offers information directed at schools to assist with energy management.

Energy Star’s Target Finder is designed to assist when planning new buildings. It is an internet-based tool that helps you manage energy during the design of a new building. With Target Finder you can set an aggressive energy performance target for a building design and compare your estimated energy consumption to the established target. Target Finder provides an energy performance target rating for whole-building energy use.

Michigan Schools Energy Cooperative (MISEC)

MISEC is a not-for-profit entity designed for schools. All savings and rebates are passed through to its members. A significant component of any energy management program is the purchasing of your energy. There may be opportunities to save money by purchasing energy through a cooperative.

Low Cost/No Cost Energy Fixes

There are multitudes of Energy Conservation Measures (ECM) available to schools and individuals that require little or no investment, yet can have significant impact on reducing energy usage and costs.

Energy Star offers PC Power Management strategies designed to help reduce energy consumption from PC's.

Energy Saving Tips for Schools from the Alliance to Save Energy, offers tips on lighting, heating and cooling, computers, appliances and school involvement.

See the Appliance Wattage List for wattage estimates of various appliances. Small appliance usage in school buildings can increase electric consumption more than people know. Use this chart and the current cost of electricity to calculate the cost of operating these appliances.

Reducing Natural Gas Usage is a document provided by the Federal Energy Management Program.

SchoolDude provides energy presentations and excellent calculator tools for appliance usage, heating degree days and more.

The O&M Best Practice series provided under the manual section provides valuable information for implementing effective maintenance strategies. Performing proper maintenance on district equipment provides significant opportunities for reducing district energy consumption.

Vending machines are often wasting a significant amount of energy in our schools. This case study discusses a quick payback method to reduce this energy usage.

Resources for Teachers

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) offers kids' pages with energy information, along with a Classroom Activities Section. A List of Resources is also offered by EIA to provide students, educators, and other information users a list of generally available, free or low-cost energy-related educational materials.

The National Energy Education Development (NEED) Program educates students about energy efficiency and conservation, and provides tools to help educators, energy managers and consumers use energy wisely.

High Performance Buildings

It is important that school districts recognize the need to commit to more efficient buildings when constructing new schools. This section offers several resources for schools and school constructors to learn about high performance buildings and standards.

Energy Star’s Target Finder is designed to assist when planning new buildings. It is an internet-based tool that helps you manage energy during the design of a new building. With Target Finder you can set an aggressive energy performance target for a building design and compare your estimated energy consumption to the established target. Target Finder provides an energy performance target rating for whole-building energy use.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards incorporated into new buildings can result in more efficient buildings over the life of the building through reduced energy consumption, along with lower operational costs. Additionally, the standards are intended to reduce the environmental impact of the building. The U.S. Green Building Council develops the LEED standards.

Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) offers a High-Performance School Buildings Resource and Strategy Guide.

High Performance Schools is also a concept that embraces creating efficient buildings. It has three main characteristics: it is healthy and productive for students and teachers, it is cost effective to operate and maintain, and it is sustainable, because it integrates energy conservation and renewable energy strategies, along with other environmentally friendly features.

The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) has information about high performance schools. They, too, provide a Best Practices Manual for High Performance Schools.

Building Commissioning is a concept that is sometimes hard to convince decision makers to do because it seems redundant when a district is already working with (and paying) and architect and construction manager. Why would a commissioning agent be needed, also? Third party commissioning has been proven beneficial and is a component of LEED and High Performance processes.

  • A brief Commissioning Paper from the Collaborative for High Performance Schools describes commissioning and its benefits.

Resource Manuals and Forms

A National Best Practices Manual for Building High Performance Schools is also provided by EnergySmart Schools.

School Operations and Maintenance: Best Practices for Controlling Energy Costs is a guidebook for K-12 School System Business Officers and Facilities Managers. This document, published in August 2004, provides excellent guidance on implementing an energy management program.

Energy Management Manuals

Guide to Operating and Maintaining EnergySmart Schools is a recent publication from the U.S. Department of Energy. It describes strategies for successfully maintaining energy efficient schools and provides action plan templates to track efforts. (9/29/09)

Portland Energy Conservation, Inc. (PECI) is an energy efficiency firm. They are a for profit firm, but have worked with several state and federal agencies in energy efficiency. They also provide many free resources.

PECI's resource library provides many beneficial documents, including the O&M (Operations & Maintenance) Best Practices Series. This comprehensive tool was developed with funding from the U.S. EPA and DOE.

Fifteen O&M Best Practices For Energy-Efficient Buildings. An overview of 15 O&M best practices that building owners and managers can employ to make their buildings more energy-efficient. These best practices are divided into four major categories: management, teamwork, resources, and energy-efficient.

Operation and Maintenance Service Contracts: Guidelines for Obtaining Best-Practice Contracts for Commercial Buildings. Frequently, building owners and managers outsource most if not all of the O&M services for their building systems. This publication provides an overview of current outsourcing trends and options, with guidelines for obtaining and managing good service. (2/4/10)

Portable Dataloggers: Diagnostic Monitoring Tools for Energy-Efficient Building OperationA review of the benefits of using portable dataloggers and criteria for selecting data loggers.

Operation and Maintenance Assessments: A Best Practice for Energy-Efficient Building Operation. Significant low-cost savings in energy and staff time as well as other non-energy benefits can be realized through operation assessments and building tune-ups. The guide provides information on how to plan and orchestrate the process.

Energy Management Systems: A Practical Guide. A guidebook covering the following topics: evaluating an existing EMS; specifying and selecting a new EMS; commissioning new EMS; service contracts for EMS; strategies for optimizations; using EMS for operational diagnostics; non-energy control applications; sample control specification language; and using spreadsheets for graphing and analyzing trend data.

Putting the “O” Back in O&M: Best Practices in Preventive Operations, Tracking and Scheduling. This document addresses continual schedule optimization and provides staff with methods to assess day-to-day operation of major plant equipment. The document also emphasizes enhancing O&M plans to give equal weight to operational issues.

Energy Tracking and Accounting

A very detailed spreadsheet to track utility costs prepared by Rochester Schools as a sample for use in other districts.

The Portfolio Manager is an energy tracking tool that assesses a district’s energy use by building and compares all usage against a national benchmark. This is a good tool to begin to determine where your district is from a consumption standpoint.

Portfolio Manager is also used to provide the measurement standard to award Energy Star Certification to qualifying buildings. Several K-12 school districts in Michigan have had the Energy Star Certification awarded to some of their buildings.

You can also see which K-12 buildings in Michigan have already qualified for Energy Star status.

The following companies also offer utility and energy monitoring tools:

Grants and Other Assistance

Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) developed an Energy Efficiency website that offers information on the various energy optimization plans utility companies have put in place around the state, along with other programs to save energy.

Consumers Energy Rebate Program

DTE's Energy Rebate Program

Designated Green Products for Federal Procurement is a series of 18 Excel spreadsheets compiled by the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive. It lists the products for which the U.S. EPA, U.S. DOE, and USDA have provided environmental or energy attribute recommendations. For the first time, product and services specifiers, facility and fleet managers, IT personnel and contracting officials can find all of the designated products in an easy-to-use series of spreadsheets. The spreadsheets will be easy to update as new products are designated or recommendations are updated.

Shared Savings and Performance Contracting

Performance contracting entails a contractual arrangement under which a performance contractor (sometimes referred to as an Energy Services Company or ESCO) provides specific energy services to a school system in exchange for a proportion of the resulting energy savings. Shared savings is a general term that describes this approach, under which the energy savings are “shared” between the client and the performance contractor. (Alliance to Save Energy, et al. 2004)

The Cash Flow Opportunity Calculator from Energy Star is useful when considering renovating or retrofitting your buildings and equipment to provide more energy-efficient operation, explore it to help answer critical questions about energy efficiency investments.

If performance contracting is being considered, recognize that calculation of projected savings can be complex and can include estimations of other factors such as “load creep,” which is an increase in school energy consumption that takes place as mechanical systems become less efficient as they age.

The International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) provides information to better understand how energy savings should be calculated in a scenario where savings are to be guaranteed and intended to pay for the services of the contractor.

The Energy Services Coalition also has good information on the Performance Contracting Process.

The US Department of Energy also discusses the concept of measuring results of energy efficiency efforts.

“There’s Gold in Those Utility Bills" provides information on understanding energy savings contracts to better position the district.


Oakland Community College offers an online undergraduate course on energy management for comprehensive energy management training. Course number is AET 2400.

The Energy Information Administration offers general knowledge information on energy. To learn more, visit:

Utility Purchasing

FEMP provides information on Electric Restructuring in the U.S.

The Michigan Public Service Commission establishes rates for regulated services.

Utility Companies

Voluntary Energy Awareness

Creating an Energy Awareness Program. FEMP offers a handbook for federal energy managers designed to help implement an energy awareness program. Even though this is primarily developed for federal facilities, this, along with most of FEMP’s materials contain very applicable concepts for schools.

Alliance to Save Energy’s Green Schools Program helps schools use energy efficiently through changes in the behavior of building users and changes in operational and maintenance routines. Through basic changes in the operations, maintenance, and individual behavior, Green Schools has achieved reductions in energy use of 5 to 15 percent among participating schools.

Copyright 2019

Michigan School Business Officials
1001 Centennial Way - Suite 200, Lansing MI 48917
msbo@msbo.org (517) 327-5920