Since they began focusing attention on energy efficiency at the turn of the century, the Marshall County Schools have saved more than $7 million through a cost avoidance program targeted at utilities. The green initiative benefits the nearly 4,000 students in the area’s 11 public K-12 academic institutions, according to a March 20 report by the local Wheeling (West Virginia) News-Register.
According to Lloyd Earnest, Energy Management specialist for the school district, the savings have been the result of a commitment to LED lighting and motion-sensor lighting systems, high-tech heating and cooling systems, and more.
And it is paying off: The district spent over $16.4 million on energy costs since from January 2000 through December 2016 – as opposed to an expected $24 million or more. That equates to a total savings of about $7.5 million, with more than $600,000 of those savings coming from the 2015-16 school year alone.
Earnest told the local news outlet that, since 2000, the district also has saved 56,579 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the environment.
“We’re getting very close to lowering our energy consumption by a third since beginning this in 2000,” Earnest told the News-Register. “I just hope to continue on the path we’ve been on.”
According to Marshall County Schools Superintendent Michael Hince, each school receives funds from money saved through energy conservation endeavors.
Most recently, each school received $1,000 to use at its own discretion. He added the more energy the county conserves, the better rates it receives from rate tests performed by energy companies.
“When this started it changed the whole mindset of county employees. It’s not only important because of the cost but because energy is such an important commodity and conserving it is crucial,” Hince told the newspaper. “If schools save, we can usually give them a check to put into whatever they think is valuable to their school.”