Schools and colleges around San Antonio saved enough energy between June and September of this year to power more than 3,500 homes and help ensure electric reliability for San Antonio.
Each of the institutions participating in CPS Energy’s commercial and industrial demand response program were recognized today for their commitment and presented with rebate checks that reflect their accomplishments.
This summer, schools saved almost 14 megawatts of energy during what are known as “conservation events.” That’s nearly one-fifth of the total 83.5 MW saved through the whole program.
Almost 90 schools, from area school districts to local higher education institutions, participated in the program. The program works like this: local businesses volunteer to curtail energy use during conservation events, which occur primarily on hot summer days. Participants are then eligible for financial incentives depending on the level of energy reduction they achieve.
“Schools and college campuses, because of the high number of facilities they operate, can have a tremendous impact on our community’s energy use through demand response,” says Martha Mitchell, CPS Energy’s senior director of product portfolio and development. “While saving energy is valuable for the community, it also reduces energy costs for these institutions and may allow valuable budget dollars to be redirected to education initiatives.”
Judson Independent School District achieved the greatest energy reduction, saving an average of 2.4 MW through 11 schools. Southwest ISD, a first-year participant, saved just over 2 MW with 16 schools, while Edgewood ISD had all 21 of its schools participate in the program and saved nearly 2 MW per event in its first year in the program. Alamo Colleges led all higher education institutions, saving almost 1.8 MW per event.
Demand response rebates granted this year to education institutions totaled more than $766,000. In many cases, schools have elected to use their funds to implement additional energy-efficiency measures such as high-efficiency lighting upgrades and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems improvements. These measures offer additional energy-saving opportunities for education institutions, reduce facility costs, and can become more cost effective with additional rebates offered for those devices.
Demand response also offers environmental benefits for the community. Through the 2014 commercial DR program, nearly two million pounds of carbon was curtailed through reduced energy generation.