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School energy audits find millions in potential energy savings
Date:3/25/2011

ull energy audits. The findings for each school were applied to the rest of the schools in their archetype to calculate savings potential. The use of archetyping reduced the time that would normally be required to fully audit all schools by six years.

"This archetype system can very easily be applied to any school system in a similar climate zone to calculate energy savings potential," said Jim Cotton, associate professor of mechanical engineering, McMaster University. "The opportunities for reduced energy consumption and cost saving are tremendous."

If all the audit's recommendations were implemented in Hamilton-Wentworth's schools, natural gas consumption could be reduced by more than 5 million cubic meters, or enough to heat more than 2,140 homes, and electrical consumption would be reduced by almost 2.8 million kWh.

"We are very appreciative of the work done by McMaster," said Tim Simmons, Vice-Chair of the HWDSB Board of Trustees. "It is not something we could have done on our own. The findings reaffirm that our current programs are moving in the right direction. It will also help us assess opportunities for energy savings requiring larger investments for both existing schools and schools that will be built in future."

"This initiative builds upon our system's commitment to the efficient use of all resources and good stewardship practices," said HWCDSB Chairperson Patrick J. Daly. "We are looking forward to further developing our relationship with McMaster in assessing energy reduction programs, particularly where students can be involved. We have found that energy consumption in our schools decreases when students are actively engaged in helping to save energy."

The engineering students have also given talks to science and physics classes regarding their work. One high-school student also became involved in the energy audit.

"One of the greatest benefits of this program is the hands-on experience gained by
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Contact: Gene Nakonechny
genen@mcmaster.ca
905-525-9140 x26781
McMaster University
Source:Eurekalert

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