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Grant Data Shows Powering Down Pays

Imagine turning off 23 million, 60 watt, light bulbs for a 24-hour period.  That is equivalent to the amount of energy Erie County school districts will be reducing in one school year thanks to the Governor's Local Efficiency Grant awarded to BOCES. An end point management system, which is housed at Erie 1 BOCES in West Seneca, will automatically power off approximately 94,000 computers located in schools throughout the county. Initial data suggests that when combined, county schools will reduce nearly $2 million in energy expenses. This Friday, educators and students of Kenmore's Franklin Middle School thanked local representatives for their support of a $570,500 Local Efficiency Grant that paid for the system.    

At the event, Erie 1 BOCES released data that indicates a large school district, like Kenmore, is expected to contain over $100,000 each school year by remotely managing the power supply of their school district’s technology.  A smaller school district, such as Alden, is expected to contain about $17,000 in energy expenses in one year.

As school districts deal with mounting fiscal stress, efforts like this one are designed to ease the pain. Donald Ogilvie, district superintendent of Erie 1 BOCES said, "When we heard about the Governor's Local Government Efficiency Grant Program, we knew that BOCES was well positioned to implement real efficiencies and sustainable change.  We are here to help schools focus on their primary mission of educating students."

Computers account for the largest portion of energy consumption related to technology in school districts.  In Erie County, there are nearly 94,000 machines in schools. Increasingly, the audits from the state comptroller's office have been focused on efficiencies, such as energy in school districts.

An end point management system is a tool that centrally manages computers located in hundreds of buildings. The system can remotely power off all computers at pre-determined times.  It can then be programmed to turn machines back on when instructional time begins. Robust reporting is also available, allowing districts to verify their energy usage and the kilowatts saved. 

Erie 1 BOCES is home to the Western New York Regional Information Center (WNYRIC). The WNYRIC provides technology solutions for about 100 school districts and four BOCES in the western region of New York State. With the WNYRIC as their engine, the four WNY BOCES partnered with approximately 100 school districts across six counties to secure the full $570,500 Local Efficiency Grant.

Carol Barber, Erie 1 BOCES deputy superintendent in charge of the WNYRIC, says that the reduced energy consumption is just the beginning. "Now, the schools are positioned to push out anti-malware, anti-virus and other software updates, thus reducing the need for technicians to visit each terminal in every school building," said Barber.  "A return on investment study estimated that if all 100 school districts in the western New York region took advantage of this feature, approximately $4 million in soft costs could be redirected over the course of just one year." 

About Erie 1 BOCES
Statewide, school districts partner with Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) in an effort to provide accountability, municipal sharing, efficiency and educational equity. Erie 1 BOCES, one of 37 BOCES in New York State, is a cooperative of 19 school districts surrounding the city of Buffalo. To assist school districts, the organization provides a variety of educational services including alternative education; career and technical education; communications; health and safety; human resources; labor relations; business office functions; policy; professional development; special education; and technology support.


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