Highline Public Schools conservation efforts paying off
District saves $367,000 in utility costs in 2011-2012
Highline Public Schools set a goal to save $300,000 on utility costs during the 2011-2012 school year.
Thanks to staff and student efforts, savings, at $367,000, exceeded the goal. The amount saved represents 7 percent of the district’s total 2011-2012 combined utility budget for natural gas, electricity, water, sewer, surface water, irrigation, garbage, and recycling.
An agreement with Puget Sound Energy that supports the district’s Resource Conservation Program also resulted in an additional incentive payment of $28,000 for reduced energy use.
Highline Public Schools’ Resource Conservation Manager, Pandora Touart focuses on better management of more than 300 utility accounts and usage monitoring, as well as supporting an array of action steps taken by staff and students on a day-to-day basis.
Many schools took responsibility to reduce energy use. At Shorewood Elementary School, staff received regular updates about progress towards energy use goals, energy-saving checklists were posted in every classroom, and students monitored outside doors to ensure they were not left open at recess or lunchtime.
Some classrooms focused attention on conservation efforts by engaging students in learning about ways to reduce energy use through Internet research, class discussions, and read-alouds.
Facility-related energy improvements made over the past few years include lighting upgrades, more efficient boilers at several sites, building control upgrades, and retro-commissioning of HVAC systems. All of these steps are lowering the cost of operating district buildings.
Additional energy-saving projects are underway or planned. Lighting upgrades will be made at Hilltop Elementary School, Valley View Early Learning Center, and the Woodside site. HVAC control improvements are planned at Big Picture/Manhattan, Chinook Middle School, Valley View Early Learning Center, and the Woodside site.