FISD setting the pace for environmental excellence
Ferris - Staff at Ferris Independent School District are achieving big savings with energy-efficient behavior-and now those good habits are earning national recognition.
FISD has achieved a 18 percent cost savings totaling $429,163 in 29 months since forming a strategic alliance with Energy Education, a national energy conservation company, which presented Ferris ISD with its Environmental Excellence Award on Tuesday, Dec. 13.
“Reaching this level of savings at this stage of the program is a significant achievement. FISD has done an excellent job of implementing Energy Education’s organizational behavior-based approach to energy conservation and maintaining productive efforts at all levels of the organization.
The administration and all staff members are to be commended for clearly fulfilling their commitment to being good stewards of the organization’s energy dollars and the environment,” said Dr. William S. Spears, Chairman and Founder of Energy Education.
“Strong support from everyone involved in the organization has created an atmosphere of cooperation that should continue to grow and ensure even greater success well into the future,” said Dr. Spears. “I am extremely pleased to present Ferris ISD with our Environmental Excellence Award.”
“Our staff is committed to conserving energy. The savings from our efforts have allowed us to maintain a low property tax rate and continue to operate with a balanced budget. This award is the result of our staff being diligent and following the guidelines set forth by Energy Education,” said FISD Superintendent Mike Bodine. A primary benefit of the Energy Education program is all costs come out of the existing utility budget, with savings projected to more than pay for the program, as they have done for Ferris ISD. Additional savings can be redirected to other parts of the budget.
The conservation program examines all areas of energy use throughout Ferris ISD. Energy Education’s conservation experts—in natural gas and electricity, water and sewer, HVAC systems, Energy Management Systems (EMS) and mechanical systems, behavior modification, communications, ground care, data analysis, information systems management, organization development, construction management, human resources, utility rate structures, and many other areas of specialization that positively impact energy conservation—work closely with Ferris ISD’s Energy Education Specialist, Danny Gibson. They train him to analyze all energy use throughout the organization’s systems, and to ensure that energy is used as efficiently as possible, following Energy Education’s Transformational Energy Management process.
The program delivers an environmental benefit from a reduced carbon footprint. Energy not used prevents the emission of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.
According to EPA/EGrid figures, in the first 29 months of the program, Ferris ISD saved 14,382 MMBTU, the equivalent of 2,191 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions being prevented, 393 cars removed from the road, or 56,053 pine trees grown for 10 years.
Gibson tracks energy consumption—including electricity, water, sewer, natural gas and fuel oil—using energy accounting software.
He compares current energy use to a baseline period and calculates the amount of energy that would have been used had conservation and management practices not been implemented. By tracking consumption and analyzing energy use, he can quickly identify and correct areas that need immediate attention.
“We plan to continue our energy conservation efforts in Ferris ISD. We owe it to our students and our parents to be able to continue to offer a great educational experience for every student. Saving money in the area of energy consumption allows us to put more funds into the classroom and into our students,” said Superintendent Bodine.