Washington school district gets straight A’s in energy management
The system, made by Telkonet Inc. of Germantown, Md., maintains energy-efficient temperatures without manual intervention. The district is implementing the system under the Puget Sound Energy rebate program, which encourages school districts to upgrade thermostats to the latest 365-day programmable models.
With the aid of the Puget Sound Energy program, the school district has been able to accelerate its energy-management initiative, with the rebate program covering the entire cost of the installation.
The SmartEnergy system is a 365-day programmable thermostat with automatic daylight-savings-time correction and full battery backup in case of power failure. Other components of the system that help produce energy savings include occupancy sensors with programmable thermostats and energy-management controllers.
The system adjusts and maintains a room’s temperature according to occupancy, and avoids unnecessary heating or cooling of vacant rooms. Building operators can typically achieve energy cost savings of 30 percent with SmartEnergy, according to the manufacturer.
In a typical fixed-setback system, the temperature is set to a fixed level in all rooms. With SmartEnergy’s Recovery Time technology, each room’s temperature is adjusted based on many factors, calculating how far it can drift from the occupant’s preferred temperature setting, while ensuring that the temperature will return to the occupant’s setting within minutes of his or her return.
In addition, the system reduces run time for heating, ventilation and cooling equipment, which helps decrease maintenance overhead and extends the equipment’s working life, according to Telkonet.
Mike Anderson, the Bellingham district’s manager of buildings and grounds, is confident that SmartEnergy will deliver substantial energy savings.
“With anticipated savings of around 20 percent, this represents a considerable sum of money to help the district offset other rising expenses,” Anderson said. “The entire installation will be completed in time for the new school year, giving us a degree of control we have never had before. SmartEnergy’s technologically advanced thermostats include intelligent programming features and 365-day, 24-hour time clocks, which will save us a great deal of time and effort.”
Telkonet is an active player within the education sector, with recent contract wins for its SmartEnergy energy-management system including Babson College in Massachusetts and the Austin Independent School District in Texas.