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Energy Management in WCPS Schools and Facilities

Energy Management in WCPS Schools and Facilities

Hagerstown, MD (November 13, 2007)- In light of rising energy costs, staff of the Washington County Public Schools is monitoring and managing the purchase and use of fuel oil and other sources of energy in order to minimize the impact of rising costs. WCPS bids heating oil and electricity cooperatively with Washington County and the City of Hagerstown to gain an advantage in pricing. Assistant Superintendent for School Operations Boyd Michael says the school system will look at a possible shift toward more natural gas and electricity use, depending on the pricing of each energy source. The current rate for electricity use is very attractive for WCPS because of cooperative bidding, according to Michael.
In the Maintenance and Operations office, Dale Diller, energy management analyst, monitors energy pricing, quantities, and trends, and is currently studying alternative energy sources for schools using heating oil. Diller says, "We're looking at options for two reasons: heating oil price increases have gotten our attention and the federal government is encouraging a decrease in dependency on foreign oil." Diller also said the use of building equipment control software has helped reduce energy use.
Current building and renovation projects are factoring in energy efficiency, with a goal of maintaining the lowest possible cost of operation. Director of Facilities Planning and Development Robert Rollins notes that energy conservation is a big factor in construction projects. "Using sustainable materials when we can, low-E glass, ensuring the orientation of buildings maximizes natural light and energy, and energy recovery infrastructure in heating and cooling are a few of the ways we build and operate our schools and facilities in the most energy and cost effective way."

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