Plainfield Elementary School


Plainfield Elementary School reduces its energy use and carbon footprint by working with Liberty Utilities to implement smart energy conservation measures.

Educational institutions continue to address tight budget constraints by seeking ways to minimize investment in energy-saving measures. After a three-year energy conservation initiative, Plainfield Elementary School has achieved a savings of $120,000 over a three-year period, reduced its carbon footprint by 24%, and increased its EPA rating from the 33rd percentile to 92nd percentile.

Originally constructed in 1972, Plainfield Elementary School has significantly expanded through two major additions. With over 35,000 square feet and 21 classrooms, this K-8 school provides a stellar education to 250 students. To support its mission to provide an exceptional learning environment, Plainfield Elementary School is committed to reducing its energy consumption for a better bottom line and a healthier environment outside the classroom.

In 2009, the Plainfield School Board turned to Liberty Utilities to help them conserve energy by implementing building envelope and mechanical system improvements. Liberty Utilities, working with Demand Management Institute (DMI), identified high-efficiency heat pumps, exhaust air energy recovery, and demand control ventilation as the most impactful energy-efficiency measures. An accurate building model was created to quantify the annual energy savings from this initiative.

To help Plainfield Elementary School finance this important savings program, Liberty Utilities provided $142,214 in incentives. The school started on this five-phase energy conservation project in 2009 and completed the final phase in September 2012.

The end result is a reduction of fuel oil use from an average of 23,000 gallons per year to 4,000 gallons, a decrease in electrical use from an average of 203,000 kWh per year to 155,000 kWh, and a decrease in the school’s carbon footprint by 158,910 tons CO2. “To date, the cost savings has allowed the school to fund a good education rather than spending their monies on energy expenses,” said Bill Knight, the Project Director and Facility Manager at Plainfield Elementary School.