Overall savings from the conservation program were significantly greater than savings from electricity being generated by the school’s new (2009) 44 kW, $300,000 solar array.
This underscores the significance of energy conservation and efficiency as a foundation for schools looking to become more sustainable.
5-year savings exceeded $250,000.
March 2008 - Present
PES engaged in an initial two-year agreement with The Westtown School in 2008 to provide the following services:
- Benchmarking, utility rate analysis, operational assessments and equipment optimization, data logging, and measurement and verification of energy conservation measures for Westtown School’s 600-acre campus.
- Prioritization of efficiency upgrades for HVAC systems, building envelopes, lighting systems, and controls through energy audits and assessments.
- Review of purchasing decisions that impact energy costs, including demand response programs, steam system control upgrades, lighting retrofits, and installation of wireless dimmable lighting controls/fixtures.
- Energy + Resource Conservation Program, providing instruction to the faculty, staff, and students on how they can contribute to the campus-wide energy conservation initiative. This was performed in cooperation with the school’s Sustainability Coordinator.
- Monthly tracking/reporting of energy savings against a baseline established early in the program.
- Review of proposals for solar PV installations.
The school has continued to retain Practical Energy’s services each year since the initial contract expired. The outcomes of our partnership with The Westtown School are as follows:
- PES identified malfunctioning control points in the HVAC system that were allowing individual components to run 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, despite global commands intended to put the system in unoccupied mode. Correction of this problem stopped these components from running unnecessarily, saving more than 100 “run time” hours per week.
- Analysis after 2 years showed an 11.5% cost savings and 12% kWh reduction for the campus, due to the combined energy conservation measures that had been recommended by PES and implemented by facilities staff. After initiating the Energy + Resource Conservation Program, savings increased to 16%-18% annually.
- Overall savings from the conservation program were significantly greater than savings from electricity being generated by the school’s new (2009) 44 kW, $300,000 solar array. This underscores the significance of energy conservation and efficiency as a foundation for schools looking to become more sustainable.
- 5-year savings exceeded $250,000.
In addition, starting in 2014, Practical Energy started on development of an energy master plan for the campus, which included assessing the viability of getting to zero carbon emissions by 2040. During that assessment, it was determined that a building by building disconnection from the central steam plant was a critical element of the plan. Practical Energy supported development of an accelerated plan through an energy performance contract, which identified over $1 million in upgrades that could be financed through the energy savings. We also identified a grant opportunity with the Commonwealth of PA, and supported the school’s successful application for a $500,000 PEDA grant to help fund the project. Practical Energy developed an RFP, and solicited proposals from 4 performance contractors (ESCOs). A contract was signed with Honeywell in April 2016 to begin implementation of the project, and Practical Energy will be providing support services during the project implementation.
PES Personnel: Paul Spiegel, Dianne Herrin, Ben Pressman, Laura Gift