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Stylized Text: Energy Efficient Schools.

Florida Solar EnergyCenter (FSEC) has researched energy efficiency in schools for the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Energy Office, and the National Association of State Energy Officials.

We have performed a number of studies examining various technologies' potential to reduce energy use, cost, and improve the learning environment. Our task has been to objectively test and evaluate these technologies and present our results without bias.

We have evaluated many issues in our research on energy efficient educational facilities. These include measured energy use (kWh and kW demand), interior comfort conditions (temperature and relative humidity), indoor air quality, and lighting. Below we present the results of our various school projects to date. We also have links to County School Board pages, FDOE, Smartschools, and other intriguing studies concerning energy efficiency of eductational facilities around the U.S. and the rest of the world.

For curriculum ideas for teaching energy to students, see our K-12 Education Section and EnergyWhiz sites.

Picture of Energy-Efficient Design for Florida Educational Facilities.Energy Efficient Design for Florida Educational Facilities
This manual addresses energy efficiency options for new educational facilities in Florida. Currently, funds spent on energy services account for about 14% of the current expenditures in Florida schools.

Picture of Relocatable Classroom.Performance Enhanced Relocatable Classrooms
We tested three improved modular built classrooms in Florida, New York, and North Carolina to determine the benefits of enhanced systems and construction practices in relocatable classrooms.

Picture of Diagnostic Testing.Large Scale Study and Diagnostic Testing of Schools and Classrooms
There are significant indoor air quality problems in schools throughout the U.S.. Results indicate consistent ventilation problems and significant challenges in getting them resolved.

Picture of Utility Report Card.Utility Report Card
The Utility Report Cards is a web-based Energy Information System that reports and graphs monthly utility data for schools. FSEC developed the URC program using Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) utility data and provides utility data translation and upkeep.

Picture of Our Saviour's School.Our Saviour's School: Reflective Roofing Technology
We used an acrylic white coating on the roof to test the impact of reflective roofing systems on chiller demand and run-times. The school originally had a 12,000 ft2 gray modified bitumen roof. The total savings for the chiller were 10%.

Picture of Northwest Elementary.Northwest Elementary: Occupancy Sensor Study
We tested occupancy sensor technology at this Pasco County school. Lighting consisted of 24% of the total electric energy use at the school. Forty-six passive infrared sensors were installed. Retrofit resulted in a 10% light energy savings (97 kWh/day) with a 5 year payback.

Picture of Fellsmere Elementary.Fellsmere Elementary: FLASTAR Project
Multiple technologies were tested with their effects on the school's energy use tracked. The retrofits included the HVAC systems, occupancy sensor control of lighting and space conditioning, and an energy management system.The total chiller savings were 10%.

Picture of Florida.1996 Energy Survey of Florida Public Schools
In 1996 we launched a comprehensive survey to all of Florida's publicschools (over 2,500). We achieved a 52% return rate (1298 returns, 677 with matching utility data). We subjected the results to detailed statistical analysis with some surprising results.

Picture of a Portable Classroom.Energy Efficient Portable Classrooms
Florida has over 25,000 portable classrooms in use around the state. Energy costs for these structures exceed $20 million a year. Our goal in this project was to reduce energy use and to improve the physical learning environment in portable classrooms.