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School saving millions with energy program

By Brooke Kelley - bio | email

EFFINGHAM COUNTY, GA (WTOC) - Did you pay your power bill this month? Can you imagine paying the power bill for a school or even an entire school district?

It probably costs a pretty penny, but one district is doing what they can to conserve energy and they are saving millions.

It's all about creating a check list for teachers and making sure they do simple things like turn out the lights and shutting their doors when they leave their classroom, even if it's just for a few minutes.

Just by flipping the switch, seventh grade teacher Carla Dean knows she's saving money.

"Everyday before I leave I am making sure my computer is turned off making sure my projector is off cause they eat lots of energy," said Dean.

It's all part of an energy savings program the Effingham County School District started in January of 2008.

Eric Harris is in charge of the program and his job is to monitor the district's energy costs.

"The biggest things that we have helped is is just taking control of heating ventilation and AC. That's where we spend most of our money," said Harris.

Since the program started--they've saved more than $2 million.

"The goal of the program is not to sacrifice comfort. It's turn things off when they are not needed," said Harris.

Harris says it's all about adding up dimes, especially when districts across the state are making budget cuts.

"That can translate into this many jobs or programs and text books and we can see where that money has gone. It's helpful," said Harris.

All by just making sure things are turned off.

"When we started this I thought this is not going to be a lot of savings as the numbers started coming in and we started getting information from the board on what we are saving. I can look and see there's one teachers salary and I was impressed with the money we saved," said Dean.

As incentive schools across the district are recognized for saving the most money with a trophy. For more information on the schools energy savings program contact eharris@effingham.k12.ga.us.

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