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School Energy Audits Initiative

Governor's School Energy Audits Initiative

In January, Governor Kitzhaber directed the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) to launch a comprehensive School Energy Audit Initiative.  By conducting comprehensive energy audits of school facilities, the state can lay the foundation for a more comprehensive approach to energy efficiency at Oregon’s public schools.
ODOE staff members contacted all school districts with schools that are eligible for the Governor’s School Energy Audit Initiative.  The audits were conducted at no cost to the schools or community as they were funded by Oregon’s federal stimulus program (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act).
The schools audited are those that receive their electricity from Oregon’s Consumer Owned Utilities and Idaho Power.  Schools that receive their electricity from Oregon’s Investor Owned Utilities (Portland General Electric and Pacific Power) receive Public Purpose Charges and have had energy audits as directed by Senate Bill 1149.

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Status Update On School Audits

For a list of the school districts audited, click here.

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Audit Process

For the Governor’s initiative, ODOE has divided the audit process into three broad stages.

Audit process - 3 broad stages
Under this ORPIN solicitation, selected audit firms will focus most of their actions on Stage 2 and Stage 3 activities.  Audit firms will use relatively prescriptive audit template – based on a hybrid of the Level  I and Level  II ASHRAE commercial building audit. The audit will focus mostly on shell, lighting, and HVAC improvements. There are several reasons for taking this approach to the audit process. ODOE wants a timely process without sacrificing audit quality and auditor safety, while standardizing data collection and reporting. 

Conduct audits
Report on audits
Eleven audit firms were selected to conduct the audits covering 100 school districts. These firms include:
Abacus Resources
Johnson Controls
Marinello Engineering
R&W Engineering
Sharpe Energy Solutions
Sustainable Engineering
Trane Oregon
ODOE selected SOLARC Architecture and Engineering, Inc. as the quality control firm for the audit initiative.
At the current time, onsite audits have been completed and are being reviewed by the quality control firm.

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Next Steps After the Audits

The 2011 Oregon Legislature passed a new law called “Cool Schools.” The state will offer millions of dollars in low-interest loans to make Oregon public school buildings more energy efficient. The schools will then be able to pay the loans back through their energy savings. The Cool Schools legislation will put more money back in the classroom, boost student and teacher performance and put Oregonians to work.
The Cool Schools bill directs the Oregon Department of Energy’s Small-Scale Energy Loan Program (SELP) to make loans to schools. For more information see http://oregon.gov/ENERGY/GSI/Call_For_Projects.shtml

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Other Information

For more information contact Jonathon Belmont, 503-373-7947.

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