Prince George’s County Public Schools is shrinking its carbon footprint — and its energy bills — by enough to save almost 5,100 acres of pine trees, officials say.
Low-flush toilets, energy-efficient windows and sensor-controlled lights the county school system has been installing in its more than 200 facilities over the last six years have reduced its carbon emissions by almost 24,000 metric tons and earned it a spot on a company’s nationwide list of Earth Day champions, organizations that are decreasing emissions by tens of thousands of metric tons.
“This is a great achievement for PGCPS,” said Fernando Reyes, an energy and emissions engineer for Johnson Controls, the Milwaukee-based international energy and operational efficiency company that created the list and is managing about half of the school system’s projects.
Prince George’s was the only school system nationwide among Johnson Controls clients to make the list, Reyes said. All those on the list are clients of Johnson Controls.
The $155 million energy efficiency project is projected to save the school system nearly $200 million in decreased energy costs over the 15 years after the project’s scheduled completion in late 2012 or early 2013, said Keith Miles, the chief operating officer for the county school system. The lighting controls and new windows have already saved the school system about $3 million per year for the past four years, Miles said.
The school system’s project includes installing lower-flow faucets; sealing leaks from doors, windows and roofs; and installing centralized controls for heating and cooling, said John Cavanaugh, the company’s account executive for the school system’s project.