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Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD Finds Nearly $23K in Energy Savings

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The Challenge

The energy needs of schools are unique and it’s often difficult for those charged with managing a school district’s energy purchasing to share reliable data on how energy is being used and where it could be saved.

The Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District in Carrollton, Texas, has faced these problems in the past. School district leaders were searching for a solution to help them identify ways they could save on their energy bills. At the same time, this solution should take into account the demands and usage patterns of students, faculty and staff.

Direct Energy Business is constantly on the lookout for ways to help businesses use energy in smarter, more efficient ways. We want to help our customers buy less of what well sell, and we applied that philosophy to the C-FB ISD’s particular needs.

The Bright Idea

We introduced the district’s environmentalist and energy manager, Victor Melton, to the Panoramic Power® Wireless Energy Monitoring Solution.

Panoramic Power uses tiny wireless sensors to track how individual systems and machinery use electricity. The system then uploads the information to the cloud, where it’s available in real time through an easy to navigate mobile app and dashboard. 

Understanding how systems use power can be integral in identifying areas where energy is being wasted, or where operations can be made more efficient. Panoramic Power’s innovative technology offers just that. As an advocate for smarter energy use throughout his district, Melton found the chance to have real-time results at his fingertips particularly appealing.

The Powerful Solution

The district installed Panoramic Power in three schools – Freeman Elementary, Bush Middle School and Ranchview High School. Within two months of using Panoramic Power, the district identified among the three schools the potential for annual energy savings of 256,578 kWh and nearly $23,000.

Data was collected between May 1 and June 30, 2015, and among the most significant findings were:

  • A number of rooftop air conditioning units (RTUs) at the schools were not running when required, operating during nighttime and off hours, or cycling excessively during regular school hours.

  • Parking lot lights were operating during daylight hours, and interior lighting was on during nighttime hours.

  • Water heaters were running during off hours.

  • Cafeteria food warmers were operating during off hours.

“After using Panoramic Power, it’s like having an energy manager standing at every device sending me instant information,” Melton says. “I can keep any eye on what’s going on and track things in real time. The placement and set up was simple, the software is extremely user friendly, and they will help you design it however you want. It’s been a wonderful tool and I look forward to getting more data.”

Along with Panoramic Power, Direct Energy Business provided the district with knowledgeable data analysis. This helped Melton realize that as much as 25 percent of the schools’ electricity was being used by small appliances that were left plugged in.

It’s this intelligence, gained through device-level monitoring, that Melton says can enable school district energy managers to approach administrators about changing staff and faculty behavior.

“It’s not that we’re not energy efficient, but we can improve and we can improve a lot,” he says. “Panoramic Power has proven what I always suspected, but could never prove, concerning our district’s plug load. This information is going to give me the ability, factually, to show what it costs to leave things plugged in over the summer or to leave our computers on overnight.”

Melton notes that despite what building engineers and energy managers have told him a school’s energy use should look like, the reality is often very different. Panoramic Power helps him see – and prove – just how much.

Are you interested in learning more about what Panoramic Power can do for your business?  

Visit our Panoramic Power page

Posted: January 28, 2016