The only thing American public school districts spend more on than energy is salaries. Textbooks, computers, extracurriculars and supplies–all things we associate with learning and schools–are trivial in the budgets. Though it seems unbalanced in our eyes, there are many reasons why schools have to spend such an obscene amount on energy yearly–mainly on heating, cooling, plug loads and lighting. The average public school building was build upwards of 42 years ago, so they are clearly not designed to meet today’s needs, norms and demands. There is certainly not a surplus of money in public school districts, and the cost of energy is one of the few things that can be easily reduced without having any negative repercussions on the students’ education or the school community’s well-being.

 

Yet as this continues to prove itself to be an issue, more and more companies have stepped up to combat it. Cenergistic, for example, has partnered with school districts serving Kindergarten through 12th grade since 1986, when the company was founded. In alignment with their mission, Cenergistic supports a wide spectrum of schools, from small districts with a million dollars in utility costs to large metropolitan ones with tens of millions spent each year on energy, to transform their energy usage through programming, education and infrastructure.

 

Amid many success stories ranging from California to the south and midwest, Cenergistic’s project in the northeast stands out. New Britain Consolidated School District in Connecticut has almost 11,000 students and, after starting their program in 2011, had a 15% savings on energy costs by the second year. Yet even more impressive is that the program surpassed projections even within the first summer it has been instated. Since, they have corrected unsatisfactory heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems–which again, accounts for 70% of energy costs in schools.

 

New Britain is in good company, as Cenergistic has supported other school districts all around the country with a similar mission. In fact, they’re a small fraction of all the work that Cenergistic does. Collectively, Cenergistic has saved over 1,350 clients a total of more than $3.5 billion all across the country and is recognized today as a national leader in energy conservation.