School buildings are, by nature, multi-use spaces. They also tend to be mammoth structures, used for long hours daily. Whether it’s class time, a basketball tournament, or a staff meeting, the lights need to be on and the water needs to be running. This, along with outdated infrastructure and delayed repairs, is probably why school districts’ nationwide spend nearly $8 billion on energy, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

For Energy Managers, it’s almost impossible to keep track of shifting rates and policies. Utility bills are designed to be confusing; the companies want people to miss a minor rate change or an unnecessary fee. Those fees and changes add up before you know it, resulting in significant losses. Thankfully, Utility Management Services (UMS) professionals are professionals at decoding the thorniest bills, and can support Energy Managers with top-notch analysis and implementation. All schools have to do is enjoy the extra funding gained by lowering utility bills and recouping overcharges due to billing errors. Schools who partner with UMS have regained huge amounts with minimal operational changes.

Savings Numbers

TypeMax Annual SavingsAverage Annual Savings

Case Studies

Episcopal High School is a prestigious private boarding school in Alexandria, VA. The school’s rich history, with 177 years of educational prowess to its name, is what makes it the beacon of the region. An older electric system, however, doesn’t help anyone. The school’s electrical system includes 65 electrical delivery points and 30 power company-owned transformers. Due to this, some of EHS’s bills featured over 70 line items, a complex billing system with plenty of room for error and overcharges. After UMS analysts meticulously examined more than 17,250 data points, they found savings opportunities and facilitated negotiations for a new electric service agreement. As a result, Episcopal High School is now saving $60,000 a year.

Alleghany County Public Schools

Alleghany County Public Schools (ACPS) serves more than 2,000 students across five different schools in Low Moor, VA. With a funding distribution system based entirely on enrollment, things got complicated when registration dropped by 33% during and after the pandemic. Educators and administrators want to invest every penny in their students, but less money means less resources. Director of Finance, Kevin Rice, turned to UMS professionals to find opportunities to recoup funds and they delivered. Following an off-site utility bill analysis, analysts discovered excessive charges related to oversized equipment installed by their utility provider. UMS then facilitated equipment replacement without any operational interruptions. This added $40,000 back into ACPS’s annual budget.

New Hanover County Schools has over 42 facilities supplying a top-notch education to over 25,000 students in Wilmington, NC. Students of all ages, from preschool through high school, enjoy the education they receive from NHCS. The county has invested in energy-efficient HVAC equipment, well-lit classrooms, walk-in refrigeration and cooking equipment, and computer systems for the benefit of their students. These investments, however, lead to massive utility bills. When NHCS first partnered with UMS in 1998, our analysts found $287,000 in annual savings! When the county reached out again in 2018, following an expansion of facilities, UMS pros were confident they could find more lost funds. They were right! UMS found an additional $53,000 in savings. NHCS is now saving $340,000 a year on utilities.


“The model used by Utility Management Services is straightforward and easy to understand - which is important for verifying true savings given all the variables that enter in.”
Kevin Rice, Director of Finance
Alleghany County Public Schools
“Why would you not want to ensure that you are receiving the best possible rate from your utility provider? Let UMS handle that for you and your business can take advantage of the savings. I would prefer UMS to have our money than the utility company. Our Account Manager, Ron Hoffman, is amazing to work with.”
Amber Makowen, Director of Finance
Altamont School
“Utility Management Services saved us tens of thousands of dollars, and every dollar of savings is important to a school district. We valued their service and expertise.”
Valjeanne Estes, Energy Manager
New Hanover County Schools
“Excellent business model! Win-win situation! With all the electricity fees, tariffs, etc., we need someone on the side of the consumer who is an expert in this area - it’s very confusing to someone never exposed to the industry.”
Darin Boothe, Director of Finance
Floyd County School Board
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