Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be part of the greenest school district in North America? The VSB envisions being a leader in sustainable practices and wants to invite staff, students and community members to make that vision a reality. One part of this vision is responsible energy management. The VSB and its Energy Management Team are creating a green future for all.
What is Energy Management?
Energy management means taking proactive steps to reduce energy waste, promote conservation, and find efficient supplies for our energy needs.
"Saving energy doesn't just save money - it improves the learning environment through better lighting and comfort control in the classroom," says Ron Macdonald, the district's Energy Manager.
The VSB has been working on energy conservation and green initiatives for years - mostly to improve lighting in classrooms. Over the past seven years the district has implemented energy-saving actions equivalent to 20 % of our demand.
"This is like unplugging 30-40 elementary schools" says Macdonald. These measures are now saving the district more than $700,000 every year in avoided costs.
In 2014 the VSB set a new 5-year target to reduce electricity consumption by a further 10% and natural gas consumption by 5%. This is highlighted in a Strategic Energy Management Plan (SEMP).
"Saving energy is everybody's business, not just mine. The cost of electricity is going up 30% over five years so the challenge is huge. Our conservations measures are now moving beyond light fixtures and equipment. In the future we will be working more to engage our school communities to conserve through behavioral measures" explains Macdonald. "We are developing campaigns and contests that can combine education and conservation for our students."
The VSB has created the Green Board on the school district's website to share and learn more about energy conservation and green initiatives. For more information please email sustainability @vsb.bc.ca