Caring for School Equipment

Schools spend more than $8 billion annually on energy - more than they spend on textbooks and computers combined.  

Improving energy efficiency can provide an estimated $avings of 25 percent and produce additional benefits, including:

  • Improve student performance
  • Increase security and safety
  • Improve teacher retention
  • Decrease liability
  • Reduce environmental impacts
Click on each equipment category to get useful, money savings tips and how to improve energy efficiency.

Space Heating

Heating systems are the single largest energy cost for most school systems. A wide variety of techniques and fuels are available for heating rooms and buildings. Many heating systems have supporting equipment such as thermostats, pipes and ducts, which provide opportunities for saving energy.

HSB’s new energy calculators can help you save up to 15 to 20 percent per year in energy costs. Use these calculators to lower your boilers and steam systems’ energy consumption and save money.

Boiler Calculators Insulation Calculators 


Energy Savings Tips

Monitor the boiler-water quality. Boiler waterside scale acts as an insulator thereby preventing heat transfer from the fire to waterside. As little as 1/32 inches of scale increases fuel consumption by as much as 7 percent.


Lighting systems can account for up to 40 percent of a schools total energy costs. In addition to supplying necessary lighting, all lighting systems produce heat. Lighting produced heat is the primary source of heat gain inside a building and presents a considerable added load to the air conditioning system. An energy efficient lighting system can save as much as 30 to 50 percent of lighting energy, plus 10 to 20 percent of cooling energy.

Use the Lighting Calculator to estimate the energy that can be saved by replacing older inefficient lighting fixtures with newer technology.

Lighting Calculators 
Energy Savings Tips

Replace fluorescent T-12 fixture/lamps (1.5” diameter) with T-8 fluorescent fixtures/lamps (1” diameter). T-8 lamps typically use 40 percent fewer watts and produce 40 percent less heat. This is important in warmer months when air conditioning is needed.

Water Heating

Whether heating water for school locker room showers, restrooms or for the kitchen, it is important to have enough hot water of the correct temperature to meet your needs. Water heating is a large energy expense in your school, accounting for about 4 percent of your utility bills. By taking just a few low-cost, energy-saving steps, you can reduce your water heating bills.

Lowering your hot water heating systems' energy consumption can mean big dollar savings.

Boiler Calculators Insulation Calculators 
Energy Savings Tips

Inspect all hot water lines and tanks to be sure that they are insulated.

Space Cooling

No matter what kind of cooling system you have in your school, or what part of the country you live in, you can save money and increase your comfort by properly maintaining and upgrading your equipment. By combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with recommended insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings, you can cut your energy use for heating and cooling -- and reduce environmental emissions -- from 20 to 50 percent.

Use these calculators to decode the energy efficiency ratings and pick the new equipment that will reduce your operating costs.
Air Conditioning Calculators 
Energy Savings Tips

An Energy Management System can reduce energy usage 10 to 30 percent. This reduction is achieved by limiting air conditioning operation during unoccupied hours.


The school’s ventilation system’s function is to control temperature and humidity for space comfort, and control indoor air quality. While heating and cooling are seasonal, a forced air ventilation system is operated throughout the year. Without proper attention, a significant amount of your energy dollars may end up on the wrong side of the exhaust fan.

Running a fan at its required speed will save on electricity costs. A 10 percent reduction in fan speed can result in a 30 percent reduction in power requirements.

Fans - Variable Speed Drive Calculators  Insulation Calculators 


Energy Savings Tips

Periodically inspect ducts to verify that all insulation is intact and adequate. A tight and well insulated duct system can easily prevent 20-25 percent energy waste.

Cooking and Refrigeration

School kitchens are a major energy consumption area. Energy is used to power cooking equipment, refrigerate food, and heat water. However, these areas can offer significant cost savings without compromising hygiene or resources.

The use of Variable Frequency Drives(VFDs) in today’s exhaust hoods can result in up to 50 percent energy savings compared to standard exhaust hood installations. See how VFDs can improve the energy efficiency of many types of motor-driven equipment.

Fans - Variable Speed Drive Calculators 
Energy Savings Tips

Repairing leaks and recharging refrigeration unit coolant will help restore the system to its design rating. This can improve efficiency by as much as 15 percent.


The use of electrical equipment in schools is rising, and the growth of computer technology in the classrooms is having an effect on electricity bills. Plug loads from equipment, such as computers and copiers, represent about 20 percent of electricity used in school buildings. Implementing a power management program can save $15 to $45 annually per desktop computer.

Computers and other electronic equipment that remain on use electricity around the clock, even when not in use. Turning equipment off at night is an easy path to cost savings.

Vampire Load Calculator Electric Motor Calculator 
LearnMore.png Self Assessment button 
Energy Savings Tips

Office electronic equipment uses electricity around the clock. Encourage staff to turn off (not just put in "sleep mode") all electronic equipment at the end of the work day including; lights, computers, monitors, printers, and copiers.