Broward County Schools Save Big with “Energy Tools for Schools” Program

Created: 3/20/2012 11:12:40 AM Updated: 12:00:00 AM

Energy conservation has been added to the daily activities of students, teachers and staff members across Broward County through a program that allows everyone to make a difference. Broward County Public Schools and Florida Power and Light (FPL) have been active in involving all members of the School District in an energy conservation program since the onset of the partnership in 2008. Since then, the “Energy Tools for Schools” program has promoted the importance of conserving energy, involved schools in the process of reducing electrical usage, distributed incentives and been recognized by the South Florida Manufacturers Association for its energy conservation efforts.

The program creates a means by which the entire District can actively participate in substantially reducing its electrical consumption. In its inaugural year, Energy Tools for Schools contributed to over seven percent reduction in overall energy consumption. This resulted in a cost savings of $4.5 million.

FPL designed the program to help the District achieve its environmental leadership goals, with a belief that involving all stakeholders in this effort would be the most effective way to save energy.

“This is not an option anymore,” said District Energy Conservation Manager Robert Jindracek. “If we want to be successful and save energy, which in turn saves dollars, this is not an option.”

This became a team-oriented process with each school and center in the county selecting teachers. staff members and students to work with the District’s Energy Conservation and Utility Management department in developing and implementing a plan to conserve energy.
“It was really an effort to try to develop a school-based initiative where teams of employees and teachers or in some cases teams of students can approach energy management practices,” said Greg Vayda, an FPL senior customer consultant. “These are low-cost or no-cost behavioral modification kind of programs.”

In its first year, 92 percent of Broward County’s schools and centers reduced electrical consumption with 45 percent having reductions of 10 percent or more. In the past year, 175 schools reduced their electrical usage, resulting in incentive payments of $176,000 to the individual schools.

Jindracek attributes the program’s success to the students who participate. “Believe it or not, the kids are the ones that are really excited about it,” he said.

With the entire District helping to achieve its conservation goals, the Energy Tools for Schools is entering its fourth year. The program has resulted in a cost avoidance of nearly $14 million in total and continues to allow everyone be a part of the savings.

View all News Articles