Energy Management

Energy Management

The School District of Philadelphia's Energy Office oversees all matters involved in supplying heat, light and power to the District's 300+ facilities. The functions of the Energy Office include:

  • The administration of a district- wide incentive-based energy conservation program
  • Utility contract negotiations for the purchase of electricity and gas in a deregulated marketplace
  • Spot market purchase of heating oil
  • Participation in the contracting process for energy saving upgrades of facility physical plants
  • Utility billing review; and, the oversight a $30 million utility budget

The District's Save Energy Campaign has inspired successful conservation efforts at about 88% of its 262 schools last year. Since its inception in the 1983 school year, the Campaign has generated a total savings of about $150 million, which has resulted in significant national attention. Funding generated by these energy savings has served to provide monetary incentives to the school communities to continue their conservation efforts.

Recently, Pennsylvania deregulated its electric marketplace. Anticipating this deregulation, the Energy Office was able to obtain significant savings from reduced electric costs. During the program's initial yearlong pilot, a savings of $280,000 was achieved from 75 accounts accepted via a state lottery. In the first year of total deregulation, 90% of the District's 500+ accounts were accepted into the program. Establishment of an electric supply contract resulted in an overall savings of$3.8 million (23% of the $16.65 million annual expense).

Previously, the School District purchased its heating oil through a yearly contract in which the price of oil fluctuated daily, usually peaking mid-winter. Energy Management initiated the process whereby the District now purchases all of its annual requirements at one time at a fixed price via the spot market. In this process oil can be purchased in the spring, summer or fall when prices are lowest. Last year, this resulted in $1.5 million savings in heating oil costs.