KEEPS Webinar - School Shutdown Strategies - Part 1 of 3

Uploaded by KPPCmedia on 20.01.2012

>> Adam Hoette: Coordinator Nancy Shives as well as KEEPS Energy managers, Ann Piechota
and Micah Johnson. Ann will be speaking a little bit later and she and Micah will be
available to answer any questions at the end of the presentation today.
Also joining us on the call are 3 Energy Managers working in Kentucky schools; Bob Valentine,
John Clemons and T.J. Poliskie. They will all share their experiences with working with
school shutdowns and also discuss opportunities for implementing these types of procedures.
Before we get started I would just like to run through some helpful information.
This presentation, along with all other previously completed KEEPS webinars, will be available
on our website at We have a variety of webinars currently available
on the site which you may find helpful. If you haven't already done so, we would encourage
you to visit the website to check out these webinars as well as all of our toolkit materials.
We would also like to say a quick thank you to our funding partners and other agencies
who have made the KEEPS program possible. Furthermore we would like to also thank our
partners in the Kentucky Energy and Education Collaborative.
Without further ado I'd like to turn the presentation over to our first presenter today.
Bob Valentine serves as Energy Manager for Christian County schools. He has had much
success recently implementing weekend and holiday shutdown procedures and will discuss
those experiences. Bob, I'm turning the controls over to you.
>> Bob Valentine: Okay very good, thanks Adam and Hello and thank you for attending today.
As Adam said my name is Bob Valentine. I'm the Energy Manager for Christian County and
before I say anything I want to emphasize that I consider shutdowns to be a very, very
big deal. It's obviously a big deal for things like Christmas break but it's also a big
deal just evening and weekend shutdowns. School buildings are closed most of the time and
the most painless way to save energy is to do it when there is nobody in the building.
We've had success at doing that.
The first thing I do want to show you is a graph of demand at one of our elementary schools
and I don't see it happening yet. It may take just a minute. What you are going to
see is the month of November. Here it is. November started on Tuesday, November 1st
was on a Tuesday. You see four days of normal usage and then a normal weekend with our regular
weekend shutdown. The next week you see Monday was a normal day, Tuesday was Election Day.
What you are seeing there is just activity from the custodians in the building. This
is a good example of the way it should be - not all of our schools work this well but
this is a good example of what it should be. This is the most energy efficient school in
the district. Its 41.7 KBTU per square foot and it is an Energy Star rating of 77. You
also see in the second week on the Friday, that was Veteran's Day. There were no
students in the building that day but the teachers did have a Professional Development
Day so you do see more than the shutdown usage but less than it would be if there were students
in the building. This also has proximity sensors on the lights and things like that. Another
big deal is that on the Friday there was no cooking in the building. So the next week
was a normal week and then the last week was the Thanksgiving break and you can see Monday
and Tuesday were normal, Wednesday was a holiday for us; there was nobody in the building
you might see some custodial activity there and then the rest of the week is our regular
shutdown. That's the type of thing I like to see. That tells me that we have done well
there. Not all of the schools do that well, generally we are and I can show you some comparisons.
The one that you saw is South Christian; you'll notice that they don't have a big percentage
of reduction. What I did was I compared the minimum demand on the Sunday before break
to the minimum demand on the Sunday during break. The reason I look at the minimums is
because I believe that the cyclic loads are probably pretty well shut off and what we're
really looking at on the minimums is stuff that's just left turned on. I give this information
back to the schools in order for them to evaluate how well they did on their shutdowns.
One of them I'd like to call your attention is MLK, that's Martin Luther King Elementary.
They had a 29 percent reduction. They have got a very committed energy team leader who
is the Assistant Principal. He has really kind of dedicated himself to it, kind of taken
it as a champion and you are going to see hopefully in just a minute, there it is. This
picture was taken during the Spring Break. This was taken last April and that is the
mailbox of the Assistant Principal. What he did was he had each of the school teachers
or each of the teachers in the building fill out a check list for their classroom and turn
it in before the break. Apparently that has got some benefit to it because you did see
that they had a very, very high reduction for Thanksgiving break.
The other thing that I wanted to show you is what I think are some opportunities. HVAC
setbacks are obviously a big opportunity. We are most successful at the ones where we
have actual remote control of the HVAC systems; the others are a little bit more of a challenge
to do. Computers are a big opportunity. There is a perception sometimes that they don't
use very much energy but yes they really do and that's an area where I think that we
can improve as well. Lighting, another example of lighting that is easy to overlook is the
parking lot. I use the example of Martin Luther King Elementary they did so well. Their
lighting is on timers and daylight sensors and things like that. Their parking lot lighting
is on seven circuits but during the break periods there are three of them they choose
to leave on for security but the other four circuits of parking lot lights are just turned
off for the entire break so that's a significant area. This is probably, everybody has seen
this, it's not uncommon, you probably want a certain amount of hallway lighting left
turned on. It's probably more than it needs to be. That's something to look at. Hidden
areas are often overlooked. It's not at all uncommon for closets and restrooms and things
like mechanical rooms have lights left on for absolutely no reason.
So I think those are opportunities and the last thing that I have is some things that
I think are pitfalls or challenges, whatever you want to call it. One is for special events.
This is true for just normal weekday events, it's true for weekends and it's true for
break periods. If you are going to do setbacks there has got to be a way to account for special
events. And also when something is turned on for a special event then there has to be
a way to make sure it gets turned back off.
Another thing that I have really tried to avoid doing and I don't think it would be
effective if I did try to do it, but I very much try to avoid the role of energy policeman.
I am happy to be a helper if I can but it is not my job to go around and turn off everybody's
lights for them. I can give them feedback, I can give them information but I'm not going
to go around turning all their lights off for them. And the other thing that I think
is a pitfall is we really do not have as much accountability as I would like to have. In
a perfect world what I would love to have is every single light switch is somebody's
responsibility and we are not at that level yet. At the classrooms it's pretty easy but
in common areas sometimes lights are left on just because it's nobody's job to turn
them off. So that's still an improvement opportunity that we're working on. And with
that Adam, I turn it back over to you.
>> Adam Hoette: Great. Thanks a lot Bob. Our next presenter is Mr. John Clemons. John
currently serves as Energy manager for Jessamine and Woodford County schools and he will be
discussing his experiences with plug loads and the effect that they can have on school
shutdowns. So John, I'm handing the controls over to you.
>> John Clemons: Hello everybody, like Adam said I'm going to be talking to you about
plug loads.
A plug load is anything at all that plugs into an electrical outlet. Plug loads in Kentucky
schools account for ten to twenty percent of electricity used and about half of the
plug load energy consumption goes to computers. Hang on a second; I'm still trying to advance
my slides. There it goes.
So every time somebody plugs something into an outlet in a school
it costs the school money and the question is are the plug loads necessary and are they
approved? We'll talk more about that in just a minute. So how can we control plug loads?
Also we want to talk about vampire loads and phantom loads. Phantom loads are loads that
are consuming power even when the device is turned off. Such things as clocks, LEDs, buttons
on devices, phone chargers; they all use a little bit of electricity even though the
device is off. Think about a long time ago when your VCR was flashing twelve o'clock
all the time, that's a phantom load. And these phantom loads can cost as much as one
to two dollars per device per year and with all the devices plugged into the school system
that could really add up. So how can we control all these plug loads in our schools? One person
alone really can't do anything; it takes a team effort. And so to enlist everybody's
help I use three things. First is a faculty/staff checklist. Second is a custodial/facility
checklist and the final thing is an inspection form that I use them to make an inspection
report. So this is an example of the staff and custodial checklist, one on the left is
the staff checklist and the one on the right is the custodial checklist. The checklists
are sent out on that email to everyone one week in advance, the staff checklists are,
and they list the steps that everyone needs to follow before they leave on the last Friday
before break. The custodial checklist goes out to custodians and principals and it covers
the non-classroom areas of the school as well as it serves as a double check that the classrooms
are shut down. Part of the checklist includes having custodians check each classroom to
make sure nothing is left on. So, I send these out a week in advance and then I also send
them out just a day before as a last minute reminder to help everybody remember to do
these things. And this third form is the inspection form that I use. During the break week I try
to get in the schools, every single school, as soon as possible, and I walk around the
whole entire school and I look to see how well everybody has complied with the checklists
they've been provided. And once I've gone through and filled these lists out for each
school I come back to my computer and type it all up and I send a report out to all the
principals, the custodians, the District Energy Team and the Central Office staff and let
them know how well each school has done. And so since everybody knows that there's going
to be a report going out telling about how well you've complied with the checklist,
everybody's really done an exceptionally good job of shutting down that's been
my experience.
The next slide. How much do plug loads cost schools? You can find out. It varies a whole
lot from school to school. Some schools have refrigerators in every room, some of them
just don't, so your school can find out how much it's spending on plug loads using either
one of these two plug load calculators. One of them is from KEEPS. The other one is from
the NEED group (National Energy Efficiency Development) project. So either one of these
calculators can be used to tell how much a plug load is costing; for example, the plug
load in my office is about five dollars a year. And the reason for that is the only
thing I have plugged in whatsoever is my laptop and it only costs about five dollars a year
to run. Some classrooms we have in our district cost over one hundred fifty dollars a year
for the plug loads in the classroom.
This next slide is a picture of some various plug loads that are found in classrooms and
I don't know if anybody can guess what all these particular plug loads have in common
or not but I'll tell you just in a minute. Some of the ones I'd like to point out, this
is pictures of plug loads found in actual classrooms in my districts. I point out that
there's a treadmill right down here, there's a second TV that's used mainly for the Wii
that's in the classroom. There is actually a, and this is in the classroom, it's an
electronic water dispenser that, actually those things are one thousand watts and use
quite a bit of electricity. There's a popcorn maker, there's a microwave, a freezer, a
coffeepot and this particular one even has a refrigerator where they sell food out of
the refrigerator, there's no IOUs there. So anyway that's a lot of plug loads and
the thing that all these plug loads have in common is every single one of these was found
in one classroom. That's one classroom's worth of plug loads.
So to conclude, winter break shutdowns are very important due to the high heating load.
The winter breaks and summer breaks are the very important ones that you want to get right.
In implementing winter break shutdown procedures saved Jessamine County about eight thousand
dollars across the ten schools I monitored last winter compared to the previous years.
So there's a lot of payback on doing these shutdowns. The big difference between long
breaks like winter and summer and just a weekend or a long weekend or even a weekday shutdown
is mainly getting the vending machines and refrigerators turned off as well as stopping
the phantom loads. Actually unplugging devices, not just turning them off. A couple things
I've learned the hard way during our shutdowns is, one: older refrigerators can build up
frost and when you unplug them they can leak, so be careful. Make sure the refrigerator
is capable of being unplugged without leaking before you unplug it. Also, computer labs
are often on auto-start schedules. They'll come on at 7:00 in the morning and turn off
automatically at 5:00 and that works great until you have a break period and then all
of a sudden the computers come on every single day, so if there is auto schedules in place
for computers they need to be reprogrammed for the break periods.
The last slide I want to share with you is, people, beyond doing special shutdowns for
long weekends and winter breaks, there's things that people can do every single day
and oftentimes we just don't really communicate our expectations or let people know what they
can do to help, so we have a daily checklist that we send out to everybody a few times
a year just to remind them of things they can do to help. This list lets everyone know
that on a daily basis you can do this and it makes a big difference and it's really
paid off and it's got awareness up very high in my districts. And with that, I want to
thank you all and turn the presentation back over to Adam.
>> Adam Hoette: Great. Thanks John. Very useful information there. Our third presenter
today is T.J. Poliskie. T.J. serves as Energy manager for Burgin Independent, Danville Independent,
Lincoln County, Marion County, Mercer County and Washington County schools and he will
provide his insights into the management of HVAC systems and their importance in school
shutdowns. T.J. ?
>> T. J. Poliskie: Well thanks Adam. It's a pleasure to be with you all today.
I want to first comment that the information that Bob and John have supplied us today is
some excellent information and what I'm going to be doing today is just to delve a little
bit deeper into one of the topics that Bob brought up, which is of course, HVAC shutdown.
These can be a little bit tricky, of course depending on the type of technology we have
available in our schools to perform these shutdowns. So what I'm going to do today
is just to provide a breakdown of the different types of systems that are out there, what
you can expect to see if you haven't tried to do one of these shutdowns before and the
different methods that you may have to resort to depending on what's there in each of your
school buildings. Serving six districts we run the gamut within the area that I serve
as an Energy Manager so we've got everything from non-programmable thermostats in individual
classrooms all the way up to district-wide automation systems that provide a single point
of control for the entire district.
So the first question we want to answer before we try to perform an HVAC shutdown, especially
for a long break, like a winter break where if we mess it up we may have potential to
cause some damage to equipment or potentially some freezing of areas that we don't want
to have frozen. So we need to figure out exactly how we're going to be controlling these different
areas when we try to shut them down for a break. Of course the cream of the crop is
the computer automation system. The district wide or remote access systems are the easiest
to use and provide the most effective means of shutting down an entire school building
without the risk of any sort of unexpected consequences there. As Bob mentioned, these
are extremely effective, most of them will provide you with a calendar function through
which you can actually go in, select the exact days on which you want the school to remain
on an unoccupied schedule or on a modified schedule if you happen to have any special
events that are going on. Other means of scheduling for breaks through those computerized automation
systems are going to include zone scheduling, where you can select a range of days, you
may end up having to set up an individual holiday schedule and apply that on a certain
range of dates. There are many ways and many different manufacturers out there that provide
that type of service to you. And then also we have the ability to do exception schedules
on many of these automation systems so that even if we do have a special event over the
break we don't necessarily have to change the way we're going to do the shutdown.
Of course some of our schools are a little bit older and they have time clock systems
in, either mechanical or digital, don't see too much of the mechanical anymore but they
are still out there. And then the least sophisticated way we have to shutdown is to use the thermostats,
either programmable which is preferable but sometimes it requires us to actually get out
into the space and manipulate these non-programmable thermostats, that we're still going to find
in some areas.
So, we want to first briefly discuss the computer automation systems. If anyone has a district
wide network it's likely that you all are already doing an HVAC shutdown for most of
your breaks because it's just that simple to do. A centralized control point for multiple
schools or even an entire district allows for, like I said, that single point responsibility.
There's an individual person or department within the school district that handles this
and the important things to note are of course that exceptions to whatever shutdown schedule
we decide on as a district need to be managed, there has to be an agreed upon way for special
events to be scheduled during that time. We have some districts that have the capability
but we sometimes are still using our HVAC systems a little bit more often than we'd
like to just in case we have special events. We want to make sure that we have a system
in place for those special events to be scheduled well in advance of when they're actually
going to be happening so the maintenance staff has time to get those put in and not to cause
an issue individually during the break. Another less elegant solution to that is to have timed
overrides available on the space. Most of these systems do have that to where if there
is a special event going on during the break, you should be able to find somewhere where
you can push a button, get at least an hour or two of heating during that winter break
and hopefully accommodate whatever events might be going on. A step down from that is
going to be your site based work station. Now these can vary widely depending on the
age of course and also the manufacturer. Many of the older computer based solutions are
going to be proprietary, they were supplied by either the equipment manufacturer or maybe
somebody like CSI or another outfit that actually has provided computerized control but not
very much more sophisticated than your time clock systems. What you have to be careful
about here is that there has to be somebody on site that knows how to operate that system.
Sometimes you have that and sometimes you don't, other times the person that is operating
that system may be in need of a little bit more training to get them up to speed on how
to do the holiday scheduling and again, there are just many different ways on these individual
work stations how that can be accomplished. You may have to schedule individual units.
You may be able to set up zones. If you don't have that set-up or if it wasn't done on
the initial installation you may end up having to call in the qualified factory service provider
to provide that service for you. And regardless of the cost of that, I'm going to suggest
to you that it's worth the money if you don't currently have the scheduling capability for
holidays. Having your heating and ventilation systems on during the winter break will more
than offset the cost of having an individual from the factory come in and program that
in just one heating season. And again those schedule functions are going to range widely
based on the type of system you have.
A step down from that is going to be your time clocks system and these come in two varieties;
digital or mechanical. Digital of course are a little bit more advanced, a lot of them
are equipped with a holiday schedule that you can set up to run on certain dates, the
important thing here is to make sure your digital time clocks are being inspected regularly.
They have a tendency, especially if the power goes out, to lose their date and time
information, so if you've gone ahead and into your digital time clock and plugged in
all of the dates for shutdowns for the school district you may end up shutting down on the
wrong day depending on whether or not your time and date are accurate still within that
digital time clock. Another thing with time clocks that you have to be careful of is that
many of them are set up not to do a setback but to do a complete shutdown of whatever
mechanical system they may be controlling. So for instance instead of allowing for a
nice setback between sixty and eighty degrees, or whatever set points you may plug into your
computer workstation, a digital time clock may just disable all of the heat pumps or
fan coil units or whatever you may have within your school. And we want to make sure that
if that is indeed the case that there is some means of override for that time clock just
in case the space temperature gets a little bit lower than we would safely want to allow
it to go. The way that's accomplished in some schools is there is a freeze protection
thermostat located somewhere in the school; you may have multiple zones in which case
each one would have a freeze protection thermostat; and what that's going to do for us is allows
us to shut the units down and if we do have that temperature drop below a certain set
point we can allow the heating system to come on and protect us from freezing. Another way
to handle that, if you don't happen to have a freeze protection sequence built into your
system, you may be able to just program the units to run in different intervals throughout
the day. One thing that I will suggest if you're going to program multiple zones on
time clocks is to make sure you offset the times during which those zones will run on
a break so you may run those units for a couple or three hours a day, break up the times during
which they start, so that you're going to avoid that big demand spike. And if you have
the ability to look at your demand curve, as Bob was illustrating earlier, you may be
able to tune that up, if you make a mistake you can go back and catch it and get better
at this as time goes on. But hopefully you will eventually be able to upgrade it to a
computerized system and perform a setback rather than a shutdown. Real briefly about
mechanical time clocks. These are going to require just as much hands on manual manipulation
as a manual thermostat. They do provide you that scheduling capability when you have a
normal schedule going on but for a break somebody's going to have to be responsible for going
to that time clock, resetting it, whatever the means are, sometimes there's a wheel
which screws on it, other times you'll have ends or switches that you have to manipulate
in order to get what you want. But that will have to be done before the break and somebody
is going to have to be responsible for making sure that the schedule gets put back the way
it was directly before the break ends. So it's a little bit more hands on but it's
definitely worth the time to go and find these things and make sure that they're set back.
Lastly with thermostats, programmable thermostats are very similar to time clocks in many ways.
A lot of them may have a holiday or vacation scheduling program that you can go in and
set particular dates during which you want the system to run differently. It depends
on how advanced your programmable thermostat is. If you don't have that capability one
of the things that usually is going to be an energy waster for us is the hold function
but during the break we can actually turn that into an energy saving strategy because
if nobody's around to manipulate the thermostat and take it off of that hold then we can insure
that we get a nice even setback. We can pick a temperature, a lower temperature hopefully,
that we want to operate at during that break, set the thermostat to a hold function and
hopefully have it stay that way until we come back and again since we're having to do this
manually, custodial staff or somebody in the building, is going to have to go back through
and make sure that all of these are set to go back to the normal program when the break
is over. And then finally with mechanical thermostats, if you have these, John's checklists
are a really good example of one of the things that you might want to put on this checklist,
being to set those mechanical thermostats, especially if you have a heat pump system
you usually have two set points, it's really easy for the custodians if they're going
through and doing a checklist at the end of the last day before the break, they can just
easily spread those two checkpoints, or set points apart to whatever predetermined level
you might happen to have and again the most important thing here is making sure that somebody's
responsible for setting those back before you get back from the break.
That's all I have, of course I'll be happy to answer any questions about any of the experiences
I've had with these systems but just a couple of tips before I hand it back over to Adam;
you want to make sure before you try to do an HVAC shutdown that you identify who the
decision makers are in each of these spaces. Custodians can be very heavily involved in
HVAC shutdowns and in some cases they are not involved at all. It may be maintenance
that is involved but you need to determine that so that you know who is going to be responsible
for helping you figure out what needs to happen before and of course after the break. Principals,
coaches and one that I actually had a learning experience with, which is the directors of
either a choir or band or drama program, there are special spaces that may be used during
breaks either for practices or for events while the students are out. So you want to
make sure and talk to these folks and make sure that you have gone through the procedure
for getting the unit's schedule to come back on during whatever time they are needed and
that goes right to the last 3 questions that hopefully we would be able to answer before
we try to do any kind of a setback and that's of course:
Do we have any exceptions to the schedule?
Are there any events during the break? If so how can we override whatever setback we've
put in place for the HVAC system? And finally and most importantly, who's responsible
for making sure that system is put back into its normal mode of operation before the students
come back into the building and we resume that normal occupancy?
Again, this all goes back to the computer systems being the easiest to work with. No
one's responsible for start-up because they immediately will revert back to that schedule
but the less advanced your control technology the more hands on you have to be. It doesn't
mean you can't get the savings but it does mean that there's a little bit more pre-work,
little bit more thought that has to go into it before you start to do those types of things.
So with that I want to thank everybody for your time and hand it back over to Adam for
the rest of the presentation.
>> Adam Hoette: Great, thanks a lot T.J., some very useful information once again.