School district saves thousands in energy costs

August 9, 2023


DENTON — Efforts by Caroline County Public Schools to reduce energy costs have resulted in almost $260,000 in savings as a result of a yearlong program managed by Cenergistic, an energy conservation company based in Dallas, Texas.

Reporting at the Aug. 1 meeting of the Caroline County Board of Education, Cenergistic Client Manager Scott Muir shared a slide show depicting how the program has saved the school district money since July 1, 2022.

School board president Richard Barton called the first annual report “really exciting stuff.”

“I’ve just got to give you guys big kudos,” Muir said. “This is one of the fastest and most successful starts to a program that I’ve seen.”

Muir and Superintendent Dr. Derek Simmons credited Cenergistic Energy specialist Josh Rein for his work in the district.

“Having Josh here from the very beginning” was beneficial, Muir said. “Typically we do have a challenge hiring an energy specialist … from outside the district, so they have to develop all these relationships and try and do it quickly. And we just got off to a great start with him already knowing everyone here.”

Cenergistic created the energy conservation program that “assists in minimizing the impact that cost increases has on the budget,” according to the report. Four energy sources were considered: electricity, solar, heating oil and propane.

The lion’s share of cost increases was from electricity the school district buys from the grid at a 64% increase and heating oil with a 42% increase.

“There’s not a whole lot we can do about the costs, so our company focuses on use and use reduction,” Muir said.

Relying on solar and setting back thermostats on weekends, nights and during the summer made a difference, Muir said.

From July 2022 through June 2023, 80% of CCPS’s utility spending was on electricity.

“That’s a huge area of focus for Josh and our team,” Muir said.

However, even with the increases in energy costs, the public schools decreased energy use intensity (EUI) by 35%. Energy use intensity is a measure of 1,000 BTUs of energy per square foot, “a benchmark that the EPA uses,” Muir said. It’s also used for Energy Star certification.

“It’s a way of measuring elementary schools against other elementary schools, houses against houses, and the regional average here for K12 schools is 54 EUI,” Muir said. “When we started the program, you actually were doing pretty well; you were already at 50 EDI. … And today, for the last 12 months, we’re down to 32 EUI. So at that at that level, our company is going to be looking at getting certified for Energy Star for a lot of facilities.”

An “energy savings day” on Monday July 3, “was a great little initiative and the results show,” Muir said.

Rein performed more than 1,516 building audits, “and that equates to 1,451 metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided,” Muir said. “That’s a huge environmental footprint.”

Muir compared the 1,451 metric tons of CO2, equating them to “over 3.5 million miles driven by an average car,” he said. “That amount of energy can power 175 homes for the year.”

Cenergistic has a five-year contract with the Caroline County Public Schools.

“The message to the taxpayer is (our) more efficient use of money, and that’s something you don’t hear government say very often,” Barton said.

To view the full report, visit, open the Aug. 1 agenda and click on the “Cenergistic Update” link.


Cenergistic Client Manager Scott Muir shared a slide show depicting how the program has saved the school district over $250,000 since July 1, 2022.