Hilliard City Schools Leads the Way with Energy Saving Projects

leafInnovative Energy Approach Creates $1.2 Million in Savings and 20 Energy Star Ratings

Hilliard City Schools is leading the way not only in the classroom, but in managing the district’s operations as well. Energy efficient enhancement projects have decreased energy use across the district, provided monetary incentives and led to federal recognition resulting in more than $1.2 million in savings and cost avoidance for taxpayers.

“Hilliard City Schools is implementing cost effective operations through our innovative approach to energy conservation,” said Director of Business Jeff Franklin. “Not only does this create a greener approach to our operations, but it saves valuable dollars that can be directed into the classroom. This is all part of the good value that Hilliard Schools provide.”

The energy efficient projects are part of the Ohio House Bill 264 Energy Conservation Program that allows school districts to make energy efficiency improvements and use the savings to pay for those investments instead of borrowing from taxpayers. Hilliard City Schools’ projects include:

  • lighting retrofits for parking lots, gymnasiums, classrooms and cafeterias;
  • replacing outdated boilers and chillers; and,
  • installing occupancy lighting sensors, building automation controls and domestic hot water solar assisted heating units.

These projects led to a reduction in the district’s electric consumption by 2.8 million kilowatts in 2012 compared to 2011. In addition, American Electric Power (AEP) provided $142,776 in rebate incentives related to the projects.

In 2010, the district entered into a Direct Energy Contract that provides lower rates for the energy that is used. From June 2010 through December 2012, Hilliard City Schools was able to avoid $1,148,023 in energy costs because of this contract. A second contract will take the district through June 2014 and saved $62,716 in the first month.

The Federal Energy Star program provides certification for facilities that meet strict energy performance standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to Energy Star, facilities that earn this rating are less expensive to operate and cause fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Hilliard City Schools has 20 schools and office locations that meet these high standards and have earned the Federal Energy Star rating. Out of the 4,053 public and non-public schools in Ohio only 215 have earned the Energy Star rating. Hilliard Schools’ 20 locations account for nine percent of these high-level ratings.

“We are exceedingly proud of our efforts to reduce energy consumption and find better pricing for the energy that is used,” noted Franklin. “It is this type of commitment to excellence both in and outside of the classroom that makes Hilliard City Schools such a special place.”