An elementary school district located 70 miles north of Los Angeles, CA recently installed 548 ecobee Energy Management System (EMS) thermostats in their 10 elementary schools and District office. Two more schools are to be built in the district within the next 9-12 months, which would total close to 600 ecobee EMS thermostats by project completion. The school district has already concluded that they have saved approximately 75% in energy savings month over month at each location.
The Westside School District, covering an area of 360 square miles, ranges from 166-1,121 students and roughly 40% portables per school. Classrooms in each school are between 900-1000 square feet, and other rooms such as cafeterias and gymnasiums ranging from 9,000-12,000 square feet.
Originally, only 40% of the schools had the ecobee EMS systems installed, while the remaining 60% were controlled by individual basic programmable thermostats. Controlling and monitoring the schools that were using the programmable thermostats proved to be much more difficult as it was time consuming, unpredictable and frustrating for the administrators.
The school administrators had to rely on janitorial staff to individually adjust and check every single thermostat in every classroom, cafeteria and gymnasium. Not only was it time-consuming, but the school administrators had to hope for no human error in the process. If any thermostats were missed, it would result in inefficiency, wasted energy and money. Bob Abel, Assistant Superintendent knew it was time to start looking for a better option.
The process began in 2010 when Bob was searching for an option to control and monitor the entire district from one location, meaning remote access was mandatory. Because of the school’s geographical location, extreme weather was normal. The new system needed to be able to alert Bob and other administrators if the equipment or pipes were at the risk of being damaged.
They received a few building automation quotations that ranged from $45,000 – $50,000 per school. Bob then decided to convert all schools to the ecobee EMS system, because of the success with the previous installations, and it would be a fraction of what they were quoted.
Working with one facility at a time, the district installed an astounding 548 ecobee EMS thermostats. Over and above the low cost, installation was a breeze because there was no need to run additional wires. This helped with the installation in the school’s portables.
The school board began to see cost savings and better efficiency almost immediately. It helped tremendously with time consumption, as they were able to control every single one of these thermostats from one location with ecobee’s simple, easy-to-use Web Portal.
The Westside School District was able to save approximately 75% by converting to the ecobee EMS product, as opposed to converting to the alternative and pricey energy management systems.