What is Energy Management?
Energy Management is an energy conservation program initiated by the School Board in 1990 to help the Grand Prairie Independent School District monitor utility consumption, achieve savings by reducing energy consumption, and create a better educational environment.
Why are we doing this?
Energy costs continue to rise every year and are now at a twenty-year high. These costs have a direct impact on the funds available to the District's educational resources and programs. Aside from the funding issues, we also face a critical shortage of natural resources. We need to act now to maintain and conserve these resources when it comes to electricity. Electricity prices are based on oil prices and we have all seen oil prices soar over the past two years.
What does the Energy Manager do?
The Energy Manager facilitates all aspects of the energy program. He tracks and analyzes all utility bills (Electricity | Gas | Water ) for the entire District. Each month the bills are entered on a software program called Energy Cap that allows each building to be evaluated on a monthly basis for increased/decreased consumption and additional costs or savings. He conducts energy audits of all of the district's facilities at various times of the day and night to see how much energy our buildings consume and identify areas where the District can conserve energy and achieve cost savings.
The Energy Management Program Philosophies and Guidelines are designed to maximize comfort and safety for students, teachers, and staff, and to enhance the teaching environment while at the same time capitalize on every opportunity to conserve energy and save tax dollars and shift those dollars to other educational needs.
Energy Star Award
The ENERGY STAR is the national symbol for energy efficiency in America. The energy performance of commercial and industrial facilities is scored on a 1-100 scale and those facilities that achieve a score of 75 or higher are eligible for the ENERGY STAR, indicating that they are among the top 25% of facilities in the country for energy performance.
GPISD has been awarded through the EPA, (ENERGY STAR) certification at all 36 educational facilities. Ranking it as one of the top school districts in the country for energy efficiency.
Energy Compliance Video
Saving Energy Saves Millions for the Grand Prairie ISD
North Texans weathered the cold temperatures and made it through Tuesday morning without the power problems and threats of rolling blackouts like Monday.
ERCOT tells NBC 5 that the system met customers’ demands.
Still, energy conservation is a year-round effort for places like the Grand Prairie Independent School District. One district employee makes it his mission to make everyone an "Energy Star."
“The energy manager. I’ve been called the energy czar. I’ve been called hound dog,” says Jerry Palermo, Grand Prairie Independent School District’s energy manager.
Palermo is serious about saving the district energy and the Grand Prairie taxpayers money. He's been known to scout schools in the middle of the night looking for wasteful ways.
"Computers, monitors, lights, closing your door to your classrooms,” said Palermo.
On the flip side, he rewards teachers and schools who make the grade.
The district is part of Oncor's Commercial Management program. Schools, businesses, governments voluntarily ease up on energy use during peak demand. There is an incentive to participate. Palermo knew that the district would be cutting back in this cold snap.
“We shut down the big areas, our gyms, our cafeterias, the theaters. We have to shed our load. There's so much load we have to shed, but we still make it so it's conducive for learning in the building. That's how we're helping during this cold weather,” Palermo said.
Cold weather, high heating demands, and two power plant failures pushed the grid to the limit on Monday morning, but ERCOT said they've rebounded Tuesday with help across the board.
In the GPISD Central Command, they'll keep monitoring every degree in the 43 buildings around the district throughout the year.
“Every penny that we save, for that meter slowing down, goes back into other things that we do in this district,” Palermo said.
They aren’t just pennies the district saves. Palermo estimates they've saved about $15 million since the energy program started in 1999.