San Diego Unified School District’s Prop. S Program was honored by the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) at its sixth annual San Diego Excellence in Energy Awards on March 25. The Prop. S program earned the “Special Achievement in Energy Education (SANDEE) Award” for the installation of an energy-efficient air conditioning system and improved occupant comfort and indoor air quality at Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary School.
“This award represents our long-range commitment to energy efficiency, conserving resources, and making San Diego a better place,” said Stuart Markey, executive direct of the Capital Improvement Bond Program. “It also reflects the hard work of our staff who turned challenges into opportunities.”
“At CCSE, we realize that to achieve a more sustainable energy future as a nation requires local actions to increase energy efficiency, implement renewable energy measures and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Irene Stillings, CCSE executive director. “Keeping an eye on their bottom line, many people forgo energy improvements, yet others, such as these SANDEE Award winners, have learned that state-of-the-art energy strategies can cut their utility costs and improve business profits.”
Using Prop. S funds, San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) decided to install a new air conditioning system at E.B. Scripps Elementary School that could serve as a prototype for future air conditioning installations in district schools located within the hot, inland area (designated as Zone Three). The annual energy savings estimate could be as much as $15,000-$20,000.
With reductions in operating budgets, the air conditioning unit installed had to be the most cost-effective system possible so as to have the smallest increase in utility costs. A comprehensive life-cycle cost analysis was performed for this site, which compared the installation, utility and maintenance costs of six different systems. Based on these studies, the district instituted the most optimum state-of-the-art technology by installing a Variable Refrigerant air conditioning system for classrooms, library and administration spaces and a Thermal Displacement Ventilation system for the multi-purpose room. This system was the prototype for the first installation of what is now the standard for any future air conditioning to be installed in the district.
On Nov. 4, 2008, nearly 69 percent of the voters in San Diego passed the $2.1 billion general obligation bond measure, Proposition S, so that San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) could repair, renovate and revitalize 181 schools.