Montgomery County Public Schools Energy Conservation Program Saves $340,000 in Utility Bills

September 23, 1999
The Montgomery County Public Schools' School Energy Rebate Team (SERT) Program will recognize $340,000 in energy savings by local schools at the 1999 SERT Kick-off on September 23 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Center.

SERT is an innovative program that encourages individual schools to reduce energy use and returns 50 percent of their savings as a cash rebate. Schools saved approximately $340,000 in utility costs during the 1998-99 school year.

Board of Education President Reginald Felton will be keynote speaker for the kick-off event. Felton and Richard Hawes, director of the Department of Facilities Management, will distribute $170,000 in rebate checks to participating schools.

This year SERT will introduce the MVP Program, designed to offer the support and services to schools that will help them be "most valuable players" in energy savings. The support includes promotional items to reach out to staff and students, speakers for assemblies and classrooms, and other incentives such as pizza parties to reward outstanding accomplishments.

Each school designs its own SERT program to reflect the needs and opportunities at each school. The most successful programs mobilize the entire school to achieve their goals. Students participate in "light patrols," staff members turn off unused lights, computers, and appliances; and building management employs more efficient lighting, heating, and cooling strategies. SERT teams at each school have regular meetings to manage their efforts.

During the 1998-99 school year, 171 out of 184 schools signed up for this voluntary program.

For more information on SERT, contact Sean Gallagher, Montgomery County Public Schools utilities management engineer, at 301-279-3425. Or see the link to the SERT site, below.

<<Back to browse