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Energy

photo credit NASA and Unsplash

The Sustainability Team is responsible for managing the energy utilities in most DPS buildings. We work to provide low-cost energy, promote energy efficiency, and support the use of renewable energy where feasible. We’re also working with Transportation to explore low-emission vehicles.

Wind turbines generating electricity
Credit: Wikimedia Commons Z22

Utilities

Our team is responsible for the energy utilities budget, bill management, selecting the lowest rates, and renewable energy installations and purchases.

XCEL Logo

Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy provides most of our electricity and some of our natural gas. They help us find the best rates, efficiency rebates, and inform us of any opportunities to purchase renewable energy. Xcel also supports efficient building operation and is helping DPS explore electric vehicle infrastructure. See RenewablesEfficiency, and Low-emission vehicles.

Transport Natural Gas

Most of our natural gas purchases are made through transport natural gas contracts that yield significant cost savings. Colorado is natural gas deregulated, which allows us to shop for the lowest prices.

Park Street Solar

On-site Solar

DPS hosts and owns solar installations throughout the district, accounting for a small but significant percentage of our overall electricity use. See Renewables.

Coming Soon

Renewable Energy

Mountain Sunrise
Sunrise Credit: Wikimedia Commons Jessie Eastland

Grid Purchases

We purchase renewable energy from Xcel Energy by participating in their Renewable Choice program. We enrolled all of our Small Commercial (C rate) accounts, which account for a small amount of our overall use. Xcel is also significantly expanding their use of renewable energy sources and has ambitious carbon reduction goals. Read more about Xcel’s Carbon Reduction Plan.

Solar Power Purchase Agreements

In 2010, DPS entered into solar power purchase agreements and had large arrays installed at 29 schools. Solar power providers own the solar equipment, and we pay for the power. These agreements allow us to be a great partner in supporting renewable energy and also deliver significant cost savings. We have 28 rooftop arrays and one land site at Place Bridge Academy. See below for a list of these schools that have solar production dashboards.

DPS-owned Solar Arrays

DPS has owned a handful of small educational systems since the early 2000s. In 2019, with the generous contribution of an anonymous donor, DPS installed our first large solar array on our Park St building, which houses Inspire Elementary and Denver Green School Northfield. In 2020, DPS began work on 17 more large installations, which were financed by an energy performance contract.

Park Street Solar

Solar Power Dashboards

See the solar power these schools are producing and using below! Also some of these schools also have their production measured in real-time. See Monitoring.

DPS-owned Solar Arrays

Inspire Elementary & Denver Green School Northfield (224 kW)

Energy Monitoring

As part of our strategy to both understand our energy use and engage students, teachers, and staff, we have installed real-time electricity monitors in many of our schools. These measure whole-building electric use and solar power production where applicable. 

We installed our first set of electricity monitors as part of a student-led energy competition called Renew Our Schools, a program of Resource Central. Read more about Renew Our Schools on our Challenges and Contests page. Also, please see our solar power education dashboards at Renewables.

Real-time Electricity Monitors

These measure electricity use and solar production every second! See below for links to the schools we have covered so far and for instructions on how to use the dashboards.

Ana Marie Sandoval e Gauge

How to Use the Dashboard

  • The red line indicates power used, and for schools with solar, the green line indicates power generated. The bar graph shows current power used and generated. 
  • Use the purple buttons to navigate to different time periods. The 10m view will show the power updated every second.

Advanced Functions

  • Hold “Ctrl” on your keyboard and use your mouse to hover over different times to see details.
  • While holding “Ctrl,” left-clicking and dragging will give you details for that time period in a new tab.
  • While holding “Ctrl,” right-clicking and dragging will zoom the view to that time period.
  • You can set a custom time-period and download data by clicking the carrot symbol in the top left corner of the graph. Advanced users can contact us for any questions at dept_sustainability@dpsk12.net.

Coming Soon