By: Pivot Energy
September 20 2023
Douglas County School District (DCSD) proudly announces its partnership with Pivot Energy, a leading provider of solar energy solutions. The school district has contracted with Pivot Energy to subscribe to 920 kilowatts (kw) over two procurements for two different schools and is expected to save the district over $300,000 in energy costs over the course of 20 years. The community solar subscription reflects DCSD's commitment to environmental stewardship, while also effectively reducing electricity costs for the district. These solar projects are slated to be operational by late 2023 or early 2024.
The partnership between DCSD and Pivot Energy began in 2018 when Pivot Energy conducted an energy bill audit for the district, revealing that the district was not on an optimal rate plan. Pivot Energy advised the school district to inform Xcel Energy of the issue and change their rates accordingly, and as a result of this strategic intervention, DCSD has been able to save over $110,000 annually in energy bills. As a result of the reassessment, the district yielded additional savings with other utilities.
“We are thrilled to work with Douglas County School District to offer them a renewable energy solution that saves the district money on energy costs, does not require solar panel installation or maintenance on their part, and helps them achieve their sustainability goals,” said Mat Elmore, Senior Vice President of Corporate Clean Energy Solutions for Pivot Energy. “DCSD is a model for school districts around the country who are seeking solutions to pursue renewable energy options while saving money and inspiring students.”
Douglas County School District has been at the forefront of various energy conservation initiatives for some time. Prior initiatives include not operating unoccupied buildings during summer and weekends, installing eGauge monitors in 40 schools, installing solar panels on 30 schools, and utilizing solar tubes in select facilities. Additionally, DCSD organizes the ReNew Our Schools energy challenges twice a year, which empowers students to create sustainability projects for the school district; 14 schools actively competed in the program in the 2022-2023 school year. DCSD also nurtures student-led projects through its dedicated Student Eco Clubs, Environmental Science classes and the Student Advisory Group, providing a platform for young minds to drive positive change in their environment.
One of the main initiatives for DCSD Sustainability is energy conservation. These programs reduce usage, help save money and lower environmental impact. In addition, energy conservation programs enhance the learning experiences for DCSD students through energy education programming. Staff has observed an improvement in student behavior and responsibility when they are actively engaged with energy conservation projects on their school campus.
On average, participants in the ReNew Our School programs save three-percent in energy savings. In addition to this, participating students are making district-wide impacts by utilizing the knowledge they have gained. Students have identified unnecessary energy surges through learning data analysis on the school’s eGauge tool. Students also reach out to energy professionals, such as Pivot, NREL, and Electrical Contractors to build on their projects and gain a better understanding of careers in the energy field. Some student projects focus on LED conversions while others engage in renewable energy.
“While we currently have solar on some of our schools, the district has shifted the focus toward utilizing off-site renewable energy programs,” said Beth Church, DCSD Sustainability Coordinator. “Community solar was the perfect fit. This is a win-win-win initiative for everybody!”
Douglas County School District's partnership with Pivot Energy signifies a transformative milestone in its journey towards sustainable education. By embracing community solar subscriptions and exploring innovative energy procurement programs, the district is setting an example for educational institutions nationwide.
About Douglas County School District:
Douglas County School District is Colorado’s third largest school district and serves 63,000 students. Learn more at www.dcsdk12.org.
About Pivot Energy:
Pivot Energy is a national solar provider that develops, finances, builds, owns, and manages solar and energy storage projects. Pivot offers a distributed energy platform that includes a range of services and software to serve the full solar ecosystem. Pivot is a Certified B-Corporation that proudly follows a corporate strategy aimed at positively impacting society as measured by Environmental stewardship, Social leadership, and responsible Governance (ESG) factors. Learn more at pivotenergy.net.
Together, solar and storage offer the unique ability to lower both demand and energy portions of a customer’s electricity bill.