PennTAP’s free Building Re-Tuning workshops were well received by the Delaware Valley School Facilities Managers Association members this past year, and I strongly recommend that if you are interested in the benefits of energy management at your facility, you work with PennTAP in your region. I am confident that PennTAP’s Building Re-Tuning training program has enabled our staff, and those at other school districts, to formalize the way they re-tune buildings to operate efficiently and provide safe, comfortable environments for students to work and learn.
The Delaware Valley in Pennsylvania is composed of Bucks, Chester, Montgomery, and Delaware counties— and 72 public school districts. There is a need to address a large number of aging public buildings in the area, as well as move forward with new sustainability efforts and upgrades.
The PennTAP Connection
After PennTAP conducted a BRT Workshop in central Pennsylvania in 2017, the Delaware Valley School Facility Managers Association (DVSFMA) contacted PennTAP to provide a similar BRT Workshop that would help them move forward with their sustainability efforts.
This project was funded in part by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) State Energy Program. PennTAP provided their “Building Re-Tuning: An Energy Sustainability Series” training at no cost to facility personnel from school districts, community colleges, and government offices in the Delaware Valley area. The three workshops provided a succession of energy efficiency solutions, including an introduction to the fundamentals of BRT, low-cost opportunities for operational improvements, best practices, and maintenance strategies. The workshops featured guest speakers from the DEP and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as experts on utility incentives, lighting systems, and group culture. PennTAP also hosted a webinar on Building Re-Tuning basics, which is archived on their website.
With the help of utility and resource partners, including PECO, DEP, and EPA, PennTAP engaged 60 individuals, including grantors, DVSFMA members, school district representatives, and student participants. They provided training to 25 percent of the school districts within the area as well as a local community college. This created the potential for BRT activities in more than 160 educational buildings in the Delaware Valley area. Additionally, the PennTAP team completed five building walk-throughs, recognizing a minimum potential annual cost savings of more than $12,500 and potential annual energy savings of more than 365 MMBtu.