Pasadena Independent School District Achieves Better Buildings Challenge Energy Savings Goal

Pasadena Independent School District achieves Better Buildings Challenge energy savings goal
Posted on 06/01/2021
Pasadena Independent School District achieves Better Buildings Challenge energy savings goal

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently recognized Pasadena ISD for achieving its energy savings goal as a partner in the Better Buildings Challenge. Through the challenge, the district achieved an energy savings of 28 percent due to greater efficiency efforts. 


Pasadena ISD has partnered with the DOE to set portfolio-wide energy savings goals and share their efficiency strategies on the Better Buildings Solution Center. Since 2019, Pasadena ISD has saved the equivalent of 39,538 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and has earned ENERGY STAR certifications for 21 of the district’s buildings. 


“Congratulations to this year’s Better Buildings and Better Plants Goal Achievers for reaching tremendous energy savings and demonstrating leadership for other organizations to emulate,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, Acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy. “These organizations are setting and meeting aggressive efficiency goals that will pave the way to a clean energy future and a reinvigorated economy”.


As part of the district’s mission to adopt a policy of energy conservation across its building portfolio, Pasadena ISD has implemented the following energy saving initiatives: 

  • the zoning of all buildings;
  • addressing HVAC equipment and controls issues;
  • installing WIFI controlled thermostats in portable buildings;
  • encouraging behavioral changes in students and staff members;
  • upgrading to LED lights when possible;
  • and establishing a team of on-site energy specialists to conduct energy audits, track energy consumption and oversee equipment, as well as identify areas requiring immediate attention. 


The district plans to continue to develop an energy conservation culture to protect natural resources and strategically plan for extended breaks to achieve greater energy savings.  


“This recognition is the culmination of years of hard work by the district, in order to develop a comprehensive energy management and conservation program,” said Kevin Fornof, Associate Superintendent of Facilities and Construction for Pasadena ISD.  “We are very proud to have achieved our energy goals, and will continue to build upon these successes.”


The Better Buildings Challenge is one component of the Better Buildings Initiative, through which DOE partners with public and private sector organizations to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings more efficient, thereby saving energy and money while creating jobs. To date, more than 950 Better Buildings partners have shared their innovative approaches and strategies for adopting energy efficient technologies. Discover more than 3,000 of these solutions in the Better Buildings Solution Center.

From the Better Buildings Challenge Website:

Located just outside Houston, Texas, Pasadena Independent School District serves approximately 55,000 students in 65 schools in southeast Harris County. The district began as a one-room school house in 1898, today it is a large urban district employing 7,650 employees. Through positive community and business support, the district provides a menu of post-secondary, technical and specialized opportunities that prepare students for higher education and adaptable workplace environments.

Since 2018, Pasadena ISD has saved 49,872,330 KBTU, the equivalent of 7,620 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions being prevented, 1,588 cars removed from the road or 195,387 pine trees grown for 10 years.

In February 2019, Pasadena ISD took proactive steps to reduce the amount of money spent on utilities by adopting a policy of energy conservation and entering into a partnership with Cenergistic, a leading energy and sustainability solutions provider. As part of this initiative the district has committed to achieve a 20% reduction in energy intensity by 2023 from a 2018 baseline.

Plans to achieve this reduction commitment include replacing outdated equipment, lighting upgrades and behavioral changes by staff and students. A team of on-site Energy Specialists conduct energy audits, oversee equipment and operational schedules and work to improve energy use behaviors. This team also tracks energy consumption and analyzes energy use, so they can quickly identify areas that need immediate attention.

Pasadena ISD is committed to be a leader in energy conservation and allowing funds to stay where they need them – in the classroom. 

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