DOE Recognizes Los Angeles Unified School District for Energy Efficiency Leadership

Los Angeles Unified School District

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized Better Buildings Challenge partner Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) for the energy productivity advances made in its schools. LAUSD set goals of reducing energy and water use by 20% over the next 10 years across its 70 million square feet of building space. LAUSD is the second-largest district in the nation and serves over 660,000 students with a portfolio of 1,200 schools and associated centers. 

DOE visited LAUSD’s Better Buildings Challenge Showcase Project Santee Education Complex to tour the campus’ energy upgrades. The school opened in July 2005 as the first new 4-year high school for the Los Angeles Unified School District in more than 35 years. The 338,000-square-foot educational complex serves over 1,900 students and 145 staff, and operates as one of the highest energy-consuming facilities compared to the district’s average.

To help reach LAUSD’s 20% energy consumption reduction goal by 2024, Santee made upgrades including interior and exterior lighting, an energy management system, efficient domestic water heater and boiler, as well as the installation of occupancy sensors, and retro-commissioning the set points. Santee is on schedule to achieve 30% annual energy savings based on seven months partial post-completion data. As a result of these upgrades, the school expects to achieve a 23%, equal to $195,000, annual cost savings.

Integrating high performance upgrades into the Santee Education Complex, such as lighting upgrades and thermal comfort improvement, also make the school a better place for learning and interaction among students, teachers, and campus staff. The district anticipates positive effects on the health and quality of the learning environment, which is expected to lead to decreased absenteeism and increased productivity.

LAUSD joined DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge in 2016. The district plans to meet its Challenge goals by leveraging some of its current programs, including: Proposition 39 (Clean Energy Jobs Act), lighting replacement and retrofit program, and incorporating new strategies such as demand response which includes battery storage and energy management systems (EMS). LAUSD also serves as an active participant in DOE’s Zero Energy Schools Accelerator.

More than 900 organizations now partner with DOE in Better Buildings and have saved more than $3 billion in energy costs to date. Through Better Buildings, DOE partners with leaders in the public and private sectors to make the nation’s homes, commercial buildings, and industrial plants more energy efficient by accelerating investment and sharing of successful best practices. Greater efficiency saves billions of dollars on energy bills, reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and creates jobs.

Better Buildings is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy designed to improve the lives of the American people by driving leadership in energy innovation. The Better Buildings Challenge is a network of leading businesses, manufacturers, cities, states, universities, and school districts that commit to improving the energy efficiency of their portfolio of buildings by at least 20% over 10 years and share their strategies and results

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