Jackson County Schools’ award-winning energy teamNovember 6, 2011 by clackey
The Jackson County School District’s Energy Team earned southern and eastern Kentucky’s PRIDE Environmental Education Project of the Month Award for November 2011.
The award recognizes the team’s success in conserving energy and saving money. In the 2010/2011 school year, the school district cut its energy costs by $46,521, an 11% reduction.
Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-5), who co-founded PRIDE, presented the award Oct. 31 during PRIDE’s energy conservation workshop in Annville.
“PRIDE has transformed southern and eastern Kentucky for 14 years with the help of leaders across the region,” said Rogers. “When individuals volunteer their time and efforts for a common cause, we can make a difference. I commend the Jackson County School District’s Energy Team for taking the initiative to research options to conserve energy and for implementing preventative, cost-saving measures for the school system.”
The school district formed an Energy Team last fall when it joined the Kentucky School Board’s State Energy Managers Program (SEMP), which pays a portion of the salary for district-wide energy managers. Led by Superintendent Mike Smith and Facilities Director Ed Morgan, the team has worked closely with its SEMP energy manager, Diane Wombles, and its electric cooperative, Jackson Energy.
The team conducted energy audits at every school and now reviews utility bills each month. Actions taken so far include installing programmable thermostats, setting thermostats to 68 degrees during the heating season and 75 degrees in the cooling season, and removing light bulbs from the vending machines.
Thousands of dollars were saved by changing old fluorescent lighting to more energy efficient bulbs. The upgrade costs were minimal, thanks to Jackson Energy’s Commercial Advanced Lighting Rebate Program for businesses and schools. For example, replacing the old lighting system at Tyner Elementary cost $1,112, and the rebate was $850. The new lights save $94 on every electric bill, so in just three months the district recouped the cost that wasn’t covered by the rebate.
The PRIDE Environmental Education Project of the Month program rewards creative, effective ways of promoting environment awareness and stewardship.
“We give awards to thank people and to showcase the great things going on in our region, so please contact us if you want to nominate a person, school, business or organization that is helping our environment or inspiring others to care for nature,” said PRIDE’s Tammie Wilson.
To submit a PRIDE Environmental Education Project of the Month Award nomination form, click here. To submit a PRIDE Volunteer of the Month Award nomination, please click here. Or, call PRIDE, toll free, at 888.577.4339.