Duval County Public Schools Creating a Green Culture | Environment

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Duval County Public Schools Creating a Green Culture

Recently, the Duval County School Board approved the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) proposal of nearly $800,000. The funded amount will continue to expand efforts within three categories: school retrofit, waste reduction activities and low emission vehicles.

School retrofits include:

  • Occupancy sensor installations at 40 schools that will minimize the use of lighting when rooms are not in use;
  • Replacement of interior lighting at 27 schools. The district will replace T12 fluorescent lighting with T8 fluorescent lighting; and
  • Replacement of lighting and controls in 23 school gymnasiums. The district will replace metal halide gym lighting with T5 High Output fluorescent lighting controlled by occupancy sensors.

The building retrofits will use $746,850 in EECBG funds. In addition, waste reduction activities will use $42,500 to purchase recycling bins and develop educational and marketing materials, including a recognition and rewards program. The remaining $6,125.00 for transportation will facilitate the purchase of a low emission vehicle.

The district’s Energy Conservation Program is producing sustainable results in spite of energy consuming equipment added each year, and the continuous rise of energy and fuel rates. Last year the district used 22% less electricity per square foot than five years ago. Some program highlights include:

Green Champions at nearly every school promoting recycling, energy and water conservation;

  • 100+ schools cut energy consumption over 10%;
  • Four schools won SunSmart School grants;
  • Recognized by U.S. Green Buildings Council and Florida Energy Office as a model for other school districts; and 
  • Reduction of carbon footprint and emissions produced by the fleet through the purchase of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV).

Savings have been achieved by correcting mechanical and electrical system problems and upgrading equipment and systems.  Automated occupied/unoccupied scheduling has reduced consumption significantly (comfort while you’re there – conserve when you’re not!).

Duval County Public Schools operates 172 schools and serves approximately 123,000 students. The school district is committed to providing high quality educational opportunities that will inspire all students to acquire and use the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in a global economy, and culturally diverse world.

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