Energy Star Award Program

Columbia Borough School District Energy Star Award Recipient
Columbia Borough School District located in Columbia, Pennsylvania educates over 1,450 students in 3 school buildings and 1 administration building representing approximately 286,147 square feet of floor space. The District operates on a 9-month teaching schedule, and has as its main goal to provide a learning environment for each student to fulfill his/her highest academic potential. The District, in partnership with the community, will prepare each student to become an independent, life-long learner and a responsible, caring citizen. The Columbia Borough School District Maintenance and Operations Department’s goal is to provide a clean and safe learning environment for students, staff, and visitors. The District began participating in the ENERGY STAR program through PPL Electric Utilities School Energy Achievement Program in March 2011.
As of the end of March 2011, Columbia Borough SD has earned eligibility for the ENERGY STAR Top Performer Leader Award for its district-wide average Portfolio Manager Rating of 82. Th
In order to manage the district’s energy use the following has been done:
The District participates in an energy management control system which allows computerized monitoring of temperatures throughout each building allowing for maintenance personnel to reduce energy in unused space when possible.
Schedules have been set to all mechanical systems to begin to power on in the morning in a staggered basis to avoid hitting electricity peak costs.
The District eliminated individual electrical appliances scattered throughout classrooms and offices unless medically or educationally necessary. Reminders are sent to all staff to shut down all equipment over weekends and long break periods rather than just leaving those systems in a sleep mode.
Over the last ten years, all buildings have been renovated to include energy efficient lighting using motion sensors to control usage. In addition, all lighting fixtures have been updated to T-8 and T-5 lamps in all buildings.
At the Jr./Sr. High School, a programmable lighting system controls on-and-off and staggering of lighting usage – such as in hallways, libraries, cafeteria and other non-continuous use locations.
In the elementary buildings during the renovations, variable speed controls were installed on heating and cooling units in all areas, replacing old unit ventilators. Buildings are now zoned coordinated with the computerized controls to maximize savings.
The major modification on energy conservation is our geothermal system installed at our high school in the most recent renovation during 2009-2011. This system is now providing heating and cooling to the largest facility of the district. Also installed were variable speed controls on motors, pumps throughout the geothermal only use necessary amounts rather than only having one “on” speed which uses more energy.
The Maintenance Director continually monitors activity of all utility billings and trends usage to identify areas in need of modifications. This whole process has made Columbia energy efficient.

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