Calvert County Public Schools (CCPS) has again been recognized for energy conservation through participation in the Demand Response Program, jointly sponsored by CPower, a demand-side energy management company, and the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO). The school system will receive nearly $103,000 in rebates and bill credits for reducing energy consumption.  

CPower works with SMECO and other utility companies to administer their load control programs to ensure affordable power during peak demand times, which usually occur during the summer. To avoid paying for higher priced energy at times of high demand on the electric grid, large consumers, such as CCPS, are asked to curtail their energy use during these peak times to offset the increased demand. As compensation for participation and performance, CCPS annually receives a credit from SMECO based on the actual amount of decreased consumption, as well as a matching check from CPower.

Sheila Stevens, Energy and Environmental Specialist for CCPS, said, “Typically, high-demand events happen after 4:00 p.m on hot summer days, after the workday has ended. SMECO called 17 events in the 2020 season, totaling 35 hours. Of those 35 hours, only four occurred during our summer working hours. Our goal is to take advantage of this program while it is available and not compromise the comfort level of our staff. We only participate when students and teachers are on summer break.”

The money received will be reinvested in schools to further reduce energy consumption, including installing energy-efficient fixtures and upgrading HVAC controls.

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