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RCSD Energy Management Policy

An Energy Management program has been developed and adopted as policy within the Rankin County School District. The policy will require the development of an energy awareness program and action plan that involves all administration, faculty and support personnel. The awareness program is to cause all parties to become more aware of how energy is used within the facility that they work. The action plan is to serve as a guide to implementation of methods that will directly affect energy consumption. The purpose of this plan is to reduce total energy consumption within all school facilities. The following procedure will be considered for implementation and applied wherever applicable.

  • Administration, teachers, and support personnel should turn off lights when their space is to be vacant for ten minutes or more.
  • Teachers and administration staff should turn off classroom computers at the end of the work day. Turn off any other energized equipment if it is not being used.
  • Laminators use large quantities of electricity. Consider scheduling the operating hours of laminators. Some "Energy Smart" schools require the teacher to schedule an appointment with the school administrator for laminator use. After laminator work is completed, the laminator is turned off.
  • Some classrooms are equipped with dual light switches. One switch illuminates all lamps in the classroom and the second switch illuminates fewer lamps. Teachers are instructed to use the switch setting with the lowest light out put whenever practical, (ie.lecturing). Use the full lighting scheme only when desk top tasks require more intense lighting (testing).
  • Recommended levels of lighting for schools have been established by professional lighting institutions. Many locations within Rankin County School District's buildings have levels of lighting that exceed the recommended light level for schools. In spaces where lighting levels exceed the recommended level, consider de-lamping fluorescent fixtures to meet the recommended level. The results of this action is hardly noticeable in most spaces and usually results in less harsh and more comfortable conditions. De-lamping can be accomplished by removing one or two lamps from each fixture, cleaning the remaining lamps and interior of the fixture, and then washing the lenses with soapy water, rinsing, and then drying the lenses before replacing them on the fixture. Lighting measurements will be conducted by the district energy coordinator. Testing will indicate if the present system meets or exceeds the recommended lighting levels. Spaces where de-lamping is an option, will be reported to the building manager for consideration.
  • Some lighting fixtures in schools may be outfitted with 60 watt incandescent bulbs. Replace the incandescent bulbs with 15 watt compact fluorescent lamps. Larger wattage incandescent bulbs should be replaced with 23 watt lamps.
  • Dining area lighting is often controlled by a bank of toggle switches located on the wall. It is possible to reduce non essential lighting during periods of the day when activities do not require full lighting. Appoint someone to reduce dining area lighting during periods when that space does not require full lighting. This action would also be applicable in other intermittent use spaces.
  • Gymnasium are often illuminated with a series of lighting schemes. It is human nature for a person to go into an unlit space and flip on all the light switches. Lighting is only necessary for the area of the building where the designated activity is to take place. If gym floor activity is planned, then tum off bleacher lighting and any other lighting that is not necessary for that activity.
  • Whenever possible, utilize natural daylight instead of artificial light for interior lighting. Studies have found that students are calmer and less hyper when learning under natural daylight conditions. Art instructors have found that artificial light distorts colors, while daylight has perfect color rendition.
  • Exterior security lighting should be monitored to assure that lighting is not illuminated during daylight hours.
  • There are spaces where occupants control thermostats for heating and cooling and are located in classrooms and other work spaces. Instruct teachers and other personnel to set thermostats no higher than 69 degrees for heating and no lower than 75 degrees for cooling.
  • At the end of each day, thermostats should be set up to 85 degrees during the cooling season and set back to 50 degrees during the heating. The only exception would be if automatic controls that perform this function are installed in your building.
  • Domestic hot water temperature should be set no higher than 110 degrees. In gyms where showers are not utilized is hot water only used for washing uniforms? Is it necessary to wash uniforms with hot water? Consider abandoning the hot water tank. If abandonment is not an option, then lower the water temperature to its lowest required temperature setting.
  • Several cold drink and snack vending machines are often found within the school building. Each machine features the product by illuminating a fluorescent lamp in the machine. Does the light in the machine serve a necessary purpose such as security? If not, consider having the vendor remove the light from the machine.
  • Establish a shut down procedure that turns off energized equipment when school breaks, holidays and summer vacation occurs. On breaks such as Christmas holidays set building heating temperatures at lowest setting. For spring break, turn off heating and cooling. For summer vacation, set the thermostats at 85 degrees. Instruct custodial personnel to only use lights and cooling in the spaces where they are working. As soon as they are finished within their work space the energized equipment should be shut down or temperature set back to 85 degrees.

Implementation of this plan requires complete cooperation from all levels of responsibility. When the plan is announced, ask tenants of the building to support the efforts and to report any ideas they may have on ways to reduce energy use within the facility. 

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