Since 2005, Maine School Administrative District 17 (located in Oxford County, Maine) has partnered with Efficiency Maine to build a new high performance elementary school and to make energy efficiency investments in its eight existing school buildings.
The district has installed high efficiency lighting, lighting controls such as occupancy sensors, and demand control ventilation in existing schools. The newly constructed elementary school utilizes daylight harvesting strategies to save energy and bring in abundant natural light.
The efficiency upgrades in the district’s existing school buildings have not only improved the learning and working environment, they have reduced annual energy consumption by between 17 and 30 percent. These savings are particularly important because the district’s cost per kilowatt-hour increased by 90 percent this year when a five year contract expired.
Saving energy is everyone’s responsibility in MSAD #17. School board members are frequently updated on and provide feedback regarding the district’s on-going energy conservation efforts. Head custodians have worked hard to learn to operate the energy management systems and students and staff throughout the school district are frequently reminded to be conscientious about energy consumption.