Dallas Independent School District

At a Glance


School or School District

Project Type

Commercial Energy Efficiency




Dallas, TX

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Net Present Value:


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Annual kWh Savings:

224,000 kWh

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Annual CO2 Reductions:

120 metric tons


Jason Zhu analyzed energy use intensity at different schools in the Dallas Independent School District and recommended lighting upgrades.


Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD) serves approximately 160,000 students in pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade in 224 schools. The primary objective for Jason Zhu, the EDF Climate Corps fellow selected to work at Dallas ISD, was to identify and analyze energy-efficiency opportunities that could provide both cost savings and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Also, Zhu was tasked with helping research sustainability best practices for schools.


After obtaining the necessary energy data and calculating energy use intensity (EUI), Zhu was able to identify schools consuming comparatively large amounts of electricity. In addition, Zhu researched and performed weather normalization on selected schools, which enabled him to compare energy use between schools regardless of the weather.

For the second half of Zhu’s fellowship, he performed lighting audits at four schools. Zhu found that lighting varied from school to school, but one common trend was that schools would only replace old T12 fluorescent lamps when they burned out. As a result, Zhu recommended a school-wide lighting retrofit replacing the leftover T12 fluorescent lamps with more energy efficient T8 fluorescent lamps as well as considering installing occupancy sensors.

Potential Impact

Upon implementing these energy-efficiency recommendations, Dallas ISD could potentially save more than $22,000 in annual operating costs. Annually, they could also reduce about more than 224,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and more than 120 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. One implemented, these low-investment energy projects could benefit Dallas ISD and the community both financially and environmentally.

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