Ryan Prestel, a 2002 Dublin Coffman graduate, is a co-founder and the CEO of JadeTrack, a local technology startup that focuses on sustainability and uses software to track, manage, and save energy. JadeTrack monitors Dublin City Schools water, gas and electric bills, as well as electricity, gas and HVAC systems in real-time. This information is displayed in on electronic boards in some of the buildings, which Prestel said increase engagement and visibility of the District’s sustainability and energy efficiency efforts.
“The JadeTrack solution is capturing real-time electric and gas usage at all of the buildings,” Prestel said. “We use this to drive behavioral changes, as well as catch potential issues before they become costly problems.”
In addition to tracking data, JadeTrack also audits all District buildings and proposes energy saving and cost-effective solutions. This aligns with the District’s commitment to continuous improvement. Some proposals are as simple as unplugging computers at the end of every school day, and some are larger projects like building controls or the solar powered hot water heater at Jerome. Since 2012 JadeTrack has partnered with Bruner, a mechanical contractor, and the District as part of House Bill 264, an energy savings program. Since the House Bill Project, the district has saved more than $3,700,000 and over 24,000,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity.
“Cost savings through increased efficiency is a high priority for our District,” said Superintendent Dr. Todd Hoadley. “We are very proud of our graduate and his company for assisting us in these efforts.”
In addition to providing cost savings and energy efficient solutions, JadeTrack has also been incorporated into the classroom. Chuck Crawford, a science teacher at Jerome, presented his students with a sustainability challenge, where they developed innovative ideas on how to save energy and used JadeTrack data to track the results of their project.
“Ryan has worked as a mentor with students to individually talk about the idea of entrepreneurship and energy sustainability,” said Crawford. “He has been an invaluable asset to me and brings meaningful experiences to students in the classroom.”
The education component was important to Prestel, as it was a class at Dublin that first inspired him to start his own business.
“My 7th grade social studies teacher, Jim Hull at Grizzell, put on a year-long business simulation. This was my first taste of entrepreneurship,” said Prestel.
Moving forward, Prestel said it’s important to continue to work together with District officials, staff and students to continue increasing sustainability and empowering them to make important changes.
“The big thing we try to do is to increase visibility to our cause and encourage others to lead the charge,” Prestel said.