How This School in Alabang Saved Over Half A Million Pesos with a Simple Solution
For the Benedictine educators, it started with a vision of a school steeped in energy conservation and delivering quality education to its students, while being held accountable to parents.
“My vision of energy consumption is for San Beda to be a front-runner in being an energy-efficient school,” says Dom Clement Roque, OSB, rector-president of San Beda College of Alabang (SBCA), an accredited educational institution founded in 1972.
When San Beda hit the 7,000-student mark in 2013, there was a positive correlation in the increasing number of students and energy consumption. That same year, the school embarked on an energy-efficiency campaign, and here’s how they did it:
1. Schedule an energy efficiency audit.
San Beda outlined the goals of its campaign, which was necessary “in order to know how much energy should be saved and by how much electricity consumption should be reduced,” says SBCA’s director for finance and administration, Fr. Aelred Nilo, OSB. The administrators wanted the savings generated from the campaign to be plowed back into the school for facility upgrades, so they tapped Meralco to do the audit.
2. Assess current energy needs and state of electrical facilities.
Meralco’s audit assessment involved a walk-through of the school’s facilities covering 9.6 hectares, which allowed engineers to take stock of items for improvement and give detailed recommendations—from something as simple as keeping windows fully closed to disposing of old, outdated air-conditioning units that no longer met energy efficiency standards.
3. Implement recommendations.
San Beda set forth to implement the recommendations following the audit. Lighting throughout the school was replaced with low-wattage LED lights which consumed less power but provided longer-lasting and brighter lighting than high-wattage incandescent bulbs. Blinds or window tint was installed to keep out the heat, and thermostat levels were reset to optimize the cooling strength of air-conditioning units. To date, energy-saving inverter-type air-conditioning units are installed in 50 percent of San Beda’s grade school and in 90 percent of its high school and college.
4. Measure the audit’s success.
After a year of implementation came the good news: They saw a dramatic decrease in electrical consumption, lowering their total number of kilowatt hours, and witnessed a significant boost in savings of half a million pesos, even amid an increase in student enrollment. San Beda saw its energy intensity index (EII)—which measures how energy is being used inefficiently—go down by five percent that school year as well. Lower EIIs help businesses, including schools, stay more competitive and profitable.
5. Follow through with regular audits and facility inspection.
The success of this simple audit enabled San Beda to control and manage their tuition fees and expenses, prompting them to institute regular preventive maintenance checkups of its electrical facilities.
Better yet is the longer-term positive impact of the school’s energy efficiency audit: influencing its students to inculcate the values of energy conservation. “They can help in society—not just in school, but in their homes, and help parents save on expenses,” Fr. Nilo added.
Running a school is like running a business. Staying profitable and competitive without having to increase costs for services happens through simple yet comprehensive audits that yield savings. Read Meralco's Energy Efficiency Manual and gather energy-saving tips and more "Power Ideas" for your business here.