• Are there exceptions to the temperature set points? I have a LOT of kids in my room!

    Posted by:

    The only exception to the temperature settings is when the room is not cooling properly and there is data to support it.  The set-point is 76 but it can be manually adjusted up or down 2 degrees.  If working properly, it should fluctuate in this range regardless of the amount of kids or the size of the space.  In fact, if the amount of kids is warming up the space, this simply means the air will continue to run until the room is satisfied at 74. If it doesn't, there is likely another problem besides the set-point ... in other words, if it won't cool down to 74, it certainly isn't going to cool down to anything lower!  If you feel your room isn't cooling properly, it can be logged to determine exact temperatures.   

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  • Who do I contact if I think my room is too hot or cold or if there is an issue with the thermostat?

    Posted by:

    First contact the site custodian.  They are aware of the energy program as well as how the thermostat and HVAC should operate.  Usually, they can tell if there is a problem.  If there is a problem they can generate a work order so the issue can be resolved.  If there does not seem to be a mechanical issue, then Kelly or I can place a logger in the room to determine exact temperature.  If it is out of the district parameters, then the appropriate adjustment will be made.  However, if it is within the district parameters, no changes will be made. 

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  • Why can't I control my thermostat?

    Posted by:

    You can.  The setpoint for cooling is 76 and for heating is 68.  You can take the cooling down to 74 and the heating up to 70.  

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  • How much do we really save by shutting down and unplugging at the end of the day?

    Posted by:

    YES!  Collectively and over time it is worth turning off and unplugging every time something is not being used.  Vampire energy alone (energy being sucked from the grid even when the appliance is not being used) accounts for $3 billion per year just in the U.S.

     Example:  A typical classroom could have the following items: radio ($2.40 annually), computer monitor ($4.10 each, annually), computer ($56.00 each, annually), dvd player or vcd ($17.00 annually).  In this scenario (not including microwaves, coffee makers, personal refrigerators, etc...) you could save approximately $80.00 just by unplugging items when not in use. With a conservative estimate of 1,500 classrooms, eliminating vampire energy would equate to about $120,000.00.  Consider that many classrooms have multiple computers and other various appliances, add in computer labs and offices, then add items in hallways and work areas, you could estimate that our district can save in excess of $250,000 just by unplugging at the end of the day!

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  • Why didn't my site get solar?

    Posted by:

    Many factors were considered in determining viable sites for solar. One of the main factors was whether the parking lot faced South or West which is the best placement for panels. Another factor was potential savings vs cost of installation.  

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  • When does my thermostat work automatically and when do I have to activate it?

    Posted by:

    All thermostats are set to operate according to bell schedule.  Bell schedule is when the students arrive and when the students leave.  For example, a typical elementary school would be set from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.  However, we know teacher  and staff work above and beyond these hours so all units have 1 hour override capability.  

    Example: If you are an elementary teacher and arrive in your classroom at 7:30, you would need to activate your thermostat manually to receive heat, air or ventilation depending on temperature at that time.  This would allow the unit to run for 1 hour at which point you need to activate the unit again for the remaining 30 minutes until start of bell schedule.  Some thermostats need to be activated one more time at the beginning of bell schedule.  If yours does not seem to be running on its own at the beginning of the school day, please press the override one more time to activate it's programmed schedule.

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  • When do I turn off and when do I unplug? Should I unplug everything?

    Posted by:

    The Ideal situation would be to have everything unplugged whenever it is not being used.  This way there would be no energy drain at all.  The best way to do this would be to have everything plugged into surge protectors.  Then, at the end of every day, you could simply turn off a few surge protectors and that would be the same as unplugging everything!  The exception would be for network printers which we never want to unplug, computers which we only want to unplug on weekends or longer breaks, and refrigerators which we unplug on breaks of one week or longer.

    However, we realize that not everybody has enough surge protectors to do this yet and it is not practical to unplug everything everyday.  Therefore, we suggest following the shutdown checklists which can be found at this link for daily, weekend and longer break shutdowns.  

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  • What are those devices they put on our air conditioners last year?

    Posted by:

    We signed up for a program called Summer Discount Plan offered by SoCal Edison.  They put devices on the compressors of the HVAC units that would allow them to cycle the compressors off during a high demand "event".  Ventilation would not be affected.  In exchange for giving them this option, we received over $425,000 in the first year with no events called and are approaching $400,000 in year 2!  

     Total discounts after 3 years on this plan: $1,250,000.00!

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  • Now that we have solar, can we change the thermostat settings or leave the lights on?

    Posted by:

    No. Energy conservation will still be our priority and having solar does not change that.  The solar project is sized based on usage.  If our usage increases to more than what we sized the system for, we could end up paying more for energy through the solar production and to the utility company for electricity from the grid.  This would yield higher payments than not having solar.

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  • My classroom seems fine in the morning, but not as comfortable in the afternoon.

    Posted by:

    Our experience has been that many thermostats are not being operated correctly.  While there are several different types of thermostats - some with dials, some with push buttons or arrows - you can adjust 2 degrees up or down.  

    Example:  When you enter your classroom on a cold morning and turn the heat up on the thermostat, it also makes the cooling setpoint higher. Therefore, when it gets warm in the afternoon, your classroom won't be as comfortable unless you turn the thermostat down again.

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  • Doesn't it cost more to turn the lights off and then back on every time I leave the room?

    Posted by:

    No! Click here, to follow the link that lets energy.gov explain!

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