Glenbrook North and South are doing their part to go Green but still have room for improvement, according to a recent energy study through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
The retro-commissioning energy audit identified opportunities to reduce energy use and save money throughout the district, which was recognized as 'highly efficient' by the agency.
Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC) was designated to complete the review at GBN while EnerNOC, Inc., an energy consulting firm, conducted the analysis at GBS. Both schools completed the no-cost process during the 2012 spring semester.
“It was cited that the maintenance staff do an exceptional job in operating the schools in a highly efficient manner,” said Director of Operations Dr. Kim Ptak. “The auditors claimed our staff do one of the best jobs with on-going maintenance of any schools they have visited.”
After providing an extensive list of overall facility comments, in which they praised the district schools for their proactive energy reduction measures, the auditors shifted their focus to providing specific recommendations to further improve efficiency.
At GBN, SEDAC identified 12 items totaling approximately $38,500 in improvement costs that is expected to result in an annual district savings of $75,000. At GBS, EnerNOC recommended improvements in seven areas that would cost approximately $68,000, but would result in an annual savings of $46,000.
The district will continue to investigate the identified projects and bring further recommendations to the Board of Education Facilities Committee for discussion.
In addition to participating in the audit, the district recently reviewed its energy consumption at a Facilities Committee meeting on August 7.
“As part of our ongoing effort to improve efficiency, the district reduced its energy consumption by more than $1 million since the 2008-09 school year,” said Ptak. “This savings has been accomplished largely through behavioral changes by students and staff and by updating mechanical functions to improve efficiency.”