According to the U.S. Department of Energy educational institutions across North America spend over $6 billion annually on energy, more than the cost of computers and textbooks combined. Energy-inefficient schools use up to three times more energy than efficient ones, spending $60-$100 more per student for energy each year, siphoning dollars away from classroom maintenance and staffing budgets.
An estimated 10-15% of energy used can be attributed to electronic devices including: multiple computers per classroom, computer labs, interactive whiteboards or projectors, and BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices) - iPhones, iPads, etc.
Leo Brehn, the Director of Information Technology at Newton Public Schools in Newton, MA, put performance contract and policies/protocols in place for technology to better manage energy use, including no-load power strips, sleep mode, and instant shut down for computers after they are done charging. Leo says the use of Apple products makes it easier to implement these aspects. Plus, the district has also switched over to laptops and high-speed/AC wireless to help reduce consumption.
Dan Caley is the Facilities Director and Energy Manager at Rogers Public Schools in Rogers, AR. Dan’s district is a huge proponent of technology. So much so, that they even constructed a new technology high school with more laptops, whiteboards, and hanging projectors to help promote group learning. As you can imagine this had a big impact on energy consumption and costs, but thanks to utility tracking software he’s able to track costs and closely monitor the impact. Dan tracks bottom-line costs, comparing previous years, building by building, noting where he sees changes in usage or spikes without getting too granular. He can also run reports on usage trends and upcoming costs to help set expectations with the Board and Management.
Dan maintains a strong relationship with the IT Department and makes sure they are aware of how new technology will affect bottom-line. Dan and the IT Department also review the total cost of ownership including cost of equipment, cost to install and ongoing district costs. For Example: smartboard versus projector lifecycle costs.