By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Manteca Unified cuts energy use by $460,000 in six-month period
Placeholder Image
Manteca Unified is doing its best to conserve on gas and electrical power.

In the last six months, the district has saved more than $486,000 thanks in part to the energy conservation and management program – Energy Education, named 2009 and 2010 Energy Star Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Agency – headed by Kimberly Wright and Victoria Brunn.

The recorded savings occurred this school year, from July through December.

Wright and Brunn are teachers turned Energy Education specialists.

“We’ve gone through hours and hours of extensive training (with Energy Education),” said Wright at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

In turn, she and Brunn have helped build a customized and sustainable energy conservation program that reduces consumption of electricity, natural gas and water via changes in organizational and human behavior.

During the Thanksgiving break, for example, their efforts were responsible for a district-wide shutdown of power that week, resulting in big savings.

MUSD also dimmed power during the winter break, a February week, and spring break. “We’re getting ready for the big one in summer,” Brunn said.

Data specialist and Energy Education vice president Mark Giugni applauded efforts at MUSD.

The district was mentioned during a client review conducted a few days ago at the Energy Education office in Dallas.

How did Manteca Unified rate?

“Exemplary – one of the best in the nation,” Giugni said. “You’re heads and shoulder above everyone.”

He commended the work of Brunn and Wright coupled with the support they received at the district office and the school sites.

District officials are also thrilled with the energy conservation efforts.

“I’m gratified by the success we have to date,” Superintendent Jason Messer. “Our partnership with Energy Education has led to a dramatic change in how MUSD view energy consumption.

“While we believed we were doing a pretty good job of saving energy before, this program has taken us to new levels.”

The savings also comes as big boost during these financially difficult times.

“The dollars we’ve saved in just the first few months is a significant amount,” Messer added. “This is money we won’t have to cut from our budget.”

In tracking energy consumption – included was electricity, natural gas, water and sewer – Wright and Brunn relied on the third-party energy-accounting software.

This software compared energy use to a baseline period while calculating the amount of power it would have consumed without the implementation of conservation and management practices.

The local energy specialists indicated that, by tracking and analyzing, the district and Energy Education has been able to identify and correct energy consumption in fast and timely manner.