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K-12 School Spotlight: Portland Public Schools, Oregon

Improving Energy Data Management by Scrubbing Utility Accounts


To optimize the school district's process for collecting and tracking energy and water consumption, the Energy Specialist at Portland Public Schools (PPS) scrubbed the district's 700 utility accounts to remove outdated and inactive accounts.

Goal: Improve the efficiency of the school districts' energy data management process

Barrier: Difficulty managing large number of utility accounts and assets

Solution: Reviewed utility accounts to remove outdated and inactive accounts

Outcome: Reduced the number of utility accounts by more than 30%


PPS is the largest school district in the Pacific Northwest serving over 47,000 students across 100 school facilities and 9 million square-foot portfolio and employing more than 6,000 people.

Implementation Strategy

PPS used several pieces of information to identify inactive accounts:

  • Absence of bills: a number of inactive accounts were identified because bills were no longer being received for these accounts.
  • Fuel switching: accounts that were converted from fuel oil to natural gas were removed by locating the old vendor name attached to each account.
  • Account numbering change: a change in the account numbering sequence by the school district's water bureau allowed identification of old accounts which were removed from the database.


PPS reduced the number of utility accounts by more than 30%, from approximately 700 down to 400-500, by removing inactive accounts, making energy data tracking more manageable and less costly.

Note: the information in this case study is based on primary research conducted in 2013-2014. Learn more about the guide's research and development.

To learn more about reconciling collected data and filling data gaps in your central energy database, see Step 3.