The Value of An Occupied Seat
If you’re trying to sell efficiency to educational institutions, one of the most compelling cases for change comes not in the form of utility cost savings, but rather in the form of what I like to call “butts in seats.”
What is a value of a butt in a seat? Many school districts in the U.S. take the average daily attendance of the preceding school year, and they use that as one of the constants in figuring out how much money the state will give that particular school district. Improving the attendance rate by even a fraction of a percent can have a major impact on the funding a school receives. If you can make a school more comfortable with better access to fresh air, daylight, high-quality interior lighting, and so forth, you’ll likely see a positive impact on attendance, not only among students but also among teachers (which makes the budget for substitute teachers go farther).
The bottom line is that the combination of all these factors means that you have more learners in the room at any given time. Reading scores goes up. Math scores go up. People are spending more time in school. School subsidies go up because the average daily attendance numbers are higher. Win, win, win, without even having to look at the upgrades' impact on the utility bill.
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