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CHPS District Reports 50% Energy Savings After Modernizing to CHPS Standard

The Los Altos School District, located in Northern California, has achieved a 50% energy reduction in most of its schools as part of a district-wide modernization effort which aimed to meet the CHPS Criteria design standard. The district was able to reduce energy costs through the installation of inexpensive energy-saving technology and the increase use of natural light in the classrooms.

“We’re paying half as much as what we’d be paying otherwise,” said Randy Kenyon, Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for business services, in a recent article in the San Jose Business Journal.

Within the district, seven of the nine schools were renovated to improve energy efficiency, including Georgina Blach Elementary School and Loyola Elementary School, two CHPS schools. It is estimated that these seven schools each spend approximately $40,000 per year on energy use compared to $80,000 spent by the two schools which were did not receive energy saving retrofits. The District worked primarily with Gelfand Partners and Blach Construction Company, both members of CHPS, to accomplish this goal.

Cost-saving measures included the increased use of natural light in the classrooms and use of “light-shedding” systems, which automatically dim electrical lights as the amount of sunlight increases inside a room. The cost to install the dimming systems is expected be paid back to the school district in less than two years.

The renovation work was the first phase of a district-wide school facility modernization effort financed by a bond measure voters approved in 1998. The district also received grants from PG&E, an average of $100,000 per school, and assistance in identifying energy-saving measures. The second phase of the modernization would build classrooms to replace the district’s estimated 75 portable classrooms.

Read the San Jose Business Journal article in full>>

CHPS District Reports 50% Energy Savings After Modernizing to CHPS Standard~order=2009-05-31
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