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Steve M. Tietjen, Ed.D | County Superintendent of Schools

Merced County Office of Education


Energy Conservation at MCOE

The Merced County Office of Education is taking the issue of energy conservation very seriously, and has already taken several steps to reduce usage without interfering with MCOE operations. Some examples of these efforts, listed in no particular order, include:

Participation in the SEE (School Energy Efficiency) Program

MCOE is one of 55 California School Districts participating in the SEE program. Components of the program include an audit of MCOE facilities and operating procedures. Contractaed engineers will present MCOE with a report listing steps that can be taken to reduce energy consumption. In addition to the facility audit, the SEE program offers educational materials and teacher support.

Department Suggestions:  During the "energy crisis" of 2001, MCOE departments were asked to brainstorm ways to save energy. Below are their suggestions.


Special Education:

  • Schelby School has reduced lighting in classrooms by one third to one half. In addition, Schelby has also replaced switches on lights that were often turned on by students with the type of switch that requires a key, thus reducing the number of times fluorescent lights are energized.
  • Special Education reports that programs are saving energy by turning off half of the lights, setting the thermostats to 68 degrees or lower, and turning off all computers and hardware when not in use.
  • Special Education department turns lights and computers off in offices where staff will be in workshops or meetings for a long period of time during the day.

Business Department:

  • At the main Complex, Maintenance has installed 17 energy-efficient compact florescent lights in the building C entry way, the Superintendent's office, and Human Resources, resulting in a savings of 918 watts. As an added benefit, the lights say they last 7 years, which should reduce maintenance costs.
  • The Business Office the number of florescent tubes energized be reduced from 3 to 2 per fixture, for a one-third savings.
  • All thermostats have been programmed by Maintenance to shut down after hours and on weekends.
  • The warehouse staff have reduced the temperature in the Warehouse, and is only turning on half of the lights in the office, and installed swamp coolers.

Migrant Education:

  • Migrant Education Staff are turning off lights in rooms and areas that are not occupied.
  • Power for photo copier usage was reduced by using only one copier.
  • Thermostats are now kept at 68-70 degrees.

Maintenance & Operations:

  • Install and reprogram thermostats to be off during non working hours.
  • Completely shut down heaters or coolers in shop area.
  • Keep unused lights off.
  • Installed 2 stage lights (High and low lighting) and turn off high if not needed.
  • Change lighting fixture to fluorescent.
  • Add insulation, door weather striping, caulking and sealents were required.
  • Night shift verifies lights and HVAC's are turned off.
  • Install new high efficiency HVAC's units on old worn out units.
  • Shut down large water heaters and circulation pumps on non used facilities. Example, turn off water heaters and heaters in the shower area at Schelby.
  • Upgrade exterior security lights with high efficient units.
  • Open or close window blinds to assist in heating or cooling.
  • Shut down computers and other office equipment when not in use.
  • Use radios and other communication devices to reduce travel trips.
  • Consolidate driving trips for maintenance request and parts pick ups.
  • Changed all HVAC filters, clean coils and service units.
  • Brief M&O staff on energy conservation and request they dress appropriately.

CAE Central Office:

  • Turns off any lights not needed during the work day and upon leaving at night.
  • Turned down the thermostat. It is set at approximately 70 degrees which has worked out to be a comfortable temperature during the working day. The heater in the back room is turned off completely at nights and also on weekends.
  • Machines such as the copy machines and electric typewriter are turned completely off at night.
  • All monitor screens are set to turn off after 10 or 15 minutes of non-use.

More information and energy saving suggestions may be found at the PG&E Website. Current power conditions are listed at the California Independent System Operator.

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