School Energy Management Program (SEMP)

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Target Audience ♦ PurposeBackgroundProgram DescriptionFunding Source ♦ Services/Contact


Target Audience

Vermont school administrators



Maximize the long-term benefits of federal, state, and local investments by providing schools with management tools and the support required to successfully implement effective, long-term energy management systems and practices.



For 15 years, government programs have subsidized investments in school energy efficiency retrofits. These programs have fallen short of creating comprehensive changes in institutional decision-making. Grant funds were often used for short term solutions. Some modification of energy using behavior occurred, but not to the extent possible. School building personnel and maintenance staff often lack the motivation, the commitment, and the tools to maintain their buildings and maximize the effects of these retrofits. Since the late 70's Vermont schools have received more than $7 million in energy conservation investments. An additional $6 million of energy improvements have been leveraged with the PVE -funded interest subsidy program. The full potential for savings from these investments has not, and will not, be achieved until Vermont schools adopt consistent and sound energy- management practices. The Vermont Legislature approved funding under the Stripper Well settlement to enable the Public Service Department/Planning and Energy Resources Division to develop a program to institutionalize sound energy management in Vermont's schools. Through the program, energy professionals demonstrate that schools can reduce their energy costs to an extent which will produce an "energy dividend." This justifies funding energy efficiency positions with other resources.


Program Description

This program is located at the Vermont Superintendents' Association's office in Montpelier, which also houses the Association of School Boards and Principals' Association. Program staff work under the direct supervision of Jeff Francis, Director of the Superintendents' Association and in close coordination with the Public Service Department (PSD). The program works with local school officials to save energy based on the highest need first. Need is determined based on an energy use index, either BTU's per student per year or BTU's per square foot per year. School administrators enter into an agreement outlining the scope of the energy project to be performed. Typically, this could include the following: tracking of energy use from records; identification and implementation of operation and maintenance improvements to increase energy efficiency; identification and implementation of projects to save money through capital intensive retrofits; coordination with the utility demand side management programs available as well as programs of the PSD and the Department of Education; and assistance in preparing applications for funding or financing, as well as assistance in presenting the energy programs to boards or voters. The program attained a high level of acceptance of energy efficiency services as part of normal school management by locating an energy efficiency experts inside an organization set up to meet the needs of school managers.


Funding Source

SEMP is funded under the U.S. Department of Energy, State Energy Program

Energy Management Services/Contact

Are you considering or planning school improvements? Take full advantage of this opportunity to maximize energy efficiency. Call SEMP for energy efficiency consultation on any of these areas:

  • Renovations and additions
  • New Construction
  • Energy Efficiency Projects
  • Indoor Air Quality

SEMP complements the expertise of architects and engineers, helping them to focus on all cost effective energy efficiency opportunities available to your school.

Contact SEMP for more information: 802-229-5834