OCOEE, Fla. - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has joined with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Orange County Public Schools, and Walt Disney World Co. to launch a new energy-savings initiative designed to help schools reduce their utility bills. The online energy monitoring system is called the "Utility Report Card."

The Web-based Utility Report Card tracks, evaluates, and charts energy consumption in schools. First implemented by Walt Disney World Resort to track energy consumption throughout its parks and resorts, the modified software tool allows school districts to pinpoint energy use and expenditures.

"Currently Orange County Public Schools spends about $55 million a year on energy," said Orange County School Board Chairman Bert Carrier. "Ultimately, our goal is to direct our limited resources where they are most needed - in the classrooms."

The information system helps school districts to monitor energy used by individual schools during everyday activities, allowing districts to implement operation and maintenance changes to reduce consumption.

Teachers and students can also examine online data to learn more about smart energy use and efficiency as a complement to the DOE's EnergySmart Schools education program.

Publication date: 04/19/2004