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Spring Break Shutdown: The Lights Are On!

Our latest data focus was conducted to coincide with spring break to find out how well schools in our test group “shut down” while no one was occupying the school buildings.

Overview:

Agentis Energy is discovering new trends in customer data. Through consistent and thorough data analysis, Agentis is helping our utility partners find new ways to improve energy efficiency and customer satisfaction for their business customers.



Spring break. The students are out, but are the lights as well?:


Spring break. The students are out, but are the lights as well? Agentis Energy took a look at how well schools powered down during Spring Break 2014 to find out. Starting with a set of elementary and secondary schools from utility partner data, we determined when each school had its spring break by looking at their energy usage during March, April and May. In most cases, it was clear that each school had one week during that period in which its weekday usage was significantly lower than average. In Chart 1, we’ve grouped the schools by the week in which they had their spring break, starting from the last week of March through the last week of April. Each line represents how much higher or lower a school’s energy usage was relative to its average usage during each week of this three month period.

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The schools that powered down the most reduced their usage during spring break by 50% or better. On the other hand, other schools only reduced their usage by 10% or less. The typical school reduces its usage by about 25% (as shown in Chart 2).

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How can we explain the wide range in spring break shutdown? Some of these schools may have been running other programs while the students were gone. And in the case of some private schools, there could be a house of worship on the same campus that continued to operate while school was out (though our analysis only considered weekday usage). But nevertheless, the average percentage by which schools reduced usage during spring break is only 25%. This somewhat surprising figure leads us to believe that there may be untapped savings potential in these schools.



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