I found this article interesting. With such a large allocation of our tax bills paying for schools, could there be a way to improve their energy efficiency - thereby saving millions over a few short years? If a relatively small school district like Batavia could save $4M, what would be the potential savings for districts like Naperville 203,204 or Downers Grove, Wheaton?
"Schools could trim energy bills by $4M
BATAVIA -- Batavia schools could save nearly $4 million in energy costs over the next decade by hiring a consulting firm to plug power leaks and find ways to use electricity and natural gas more efficiently.
The School Board approved a contract with Energy Education Inc. last month after looking at cost projections that the district would pay $835,000 in fees between now and 2019 and cut its energy bills by $4.783 million. The Dallas-based firm advertises that it will reimburse clients who save less on energy costs than they spend on the program.
During the next four months, Energy Education Inc. will measure and monitor the climates in all district buildings, including temperature, humidity and light usage. After establishing energy use patterns, consultants will recommend equipment upgrades, procedure changes such as lowering thermostats when buildings are closed and other ways to reduce power use, said Assistant Superintendent Kris Monn.
Officials already have factored some anticipated savings into the 2009-2012 budget. The most recent round of proposed budget cuts includes a $50,000 decrease in natural gas costs and a $64,000 decrease in electricity costs to run Batavia High and Rotolo Middle schools. Energy Education Inc. consultants predict the district will cut energy costs by $298,000 this year.
"These are some pretty significant decreases in electricity and gas expenses for the high school and middle school," noted board member Jayne Resek.
The board is scheduled to vote on the spending plan Oct. 27. District residents can view the proposed budget at the Rosalie Jones Administrative Center, the Batavia Public Library and online at www.bps101.net."