Florida Schools First In Nation To Use “Utility Report Card”
A new energy-savings initiative that helps schools reduce utility bills and save millions of dollars has been launched by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Orange County Public Schools and Walt Disney World Co. at Citrus Elementary School in Ocoee.
Florida’s schools are the first in the nation to demonstrate the web-based “Utility Report Card,” which tracks, evaluates and charts energy consumption in schools. First implemented by Walt Disney World Resort to track energy consumption throughout the parks and resorts, the modified software tool allows school districts to pin-point energy use and expenditures.
“Currently Orange County Public Schools spends about $55 million a year on energy,” said Orange County School Board Chairman Bert Carrier. “Ultimately, our goal is to direct our limited resources where they are most needed — in the classrooms.”
The information system helps school districts to monitor energy used by individual schools during everyday activities, allowing districts to implement operation and maintenance changes to reduce consumption. Teachers and students can also examine on-line data to learn more about smart energy use and efficiency as a complement to the U.S. Department of Energy’s EnergySmart Schools education program.
The pilot program for Orange County Schools was funded by the Florida Energy Office, which launched an initiative last year to reduce energy consumption by government and save taxpayers dollars. The State’s energy-saving program focuses on installing energy-efficient technology, modifying behavior to use resources wisely and encouraging government’s use of hybrid vehicles.
The “Utility Report Card,” is available online at www.utilityreportcards.com.