DOE to Fund Energy Audits for Schools in New Orleans
DOE's EnergySmart Schools program committed on August 8th to provide $1.5 million in technical assistance for up to 75 comprehensive energy audits in public schools in the New Orleans area. The audits will include analysis of heating and cooling systems, lighting, and structural elements such as roofing and building envelopes. DOE will recommend energy-efficient retrofits and upgrades for existing buildings that provide a return on investment in 3-5 years. The audits could identify up to $1 million in annual utility savings for New Orleans' public schools. New buildings will be designed to be 30% more efficient than current building codes and can be constructed and operated on a cost-neutral basis, with energy savings offsetting upfront costs.
In conjunction with the energy audits, DOE also publicized the upcoming release of "The Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildings," which provides guidelines for designing and building energy efficient schools that operate with 30% energy savings above typical building codes. DOE's EnergySmart Schools Program focuses on promoting energy efficiency in new and existing K-12 facilities; reducing energy use and costs; improving the learning environment, educating school personnel about planning, financing and operating energy-efficient, high-performance buildings; providing technical guidance and training to building industry professionals; and developing media materials and case studies about existing schools. See the DOE press release, the EnergySmart Schools Web site, and an overview of the design guide (PDF 17 KB). Download Adobe Reader.