Becoming a Peak Performer Put Union School District in a Class by Itself

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The Tulsa Union School District is no stranger to innovation. Home to more than 15,000 students, the district houses OU family health clinics at several of its elementary schools. The Union Collegiate Academy offers college courses in university-style lecture halls. And the district’s adult learning center offers GED and ESL coursework along with professional certifications. With its progressive approach to just about everything, it’s no surprise the Union School District is at the forefront of demand reduction.

Using a mix of manual and computer-controlled systems, the Union School District shaved more than 2,000 kW from its electrical demand in 2013. The district’s Building Automation System adjusts HVAC chiller settings at every school building with just one click of the mouse.

According to Assistant Superintendent Charlie Bushyhead, the district still relies on good, old-fashioned manpower too. “All of our schools are very cooperative. During a peak event lights are turned off manually, but no one complains.”

Using a mix of traditional and cutting-edge techniques, the Tulsa Union School District realized substantial energy savings and earned nearly $75,000 in Peak Performer incentives during 2013.

“For every $50,000 we save, we can hire another teacher,” adds Bushyhead. “That’s big to us. It’s a real win-win.”