As the nation celebrates Energy Awareness Month in October, Rush County School administrators are having a celebration of their own — announcing more than $136,266 savings achieved through an innovative energy conservation program.
The $136,266 savings is equal to 14.81 percent of the expected energy costs without the program. In environmental terms, the energy saved equates to 7,738 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions being prevented, or 136 autos off the highway annually or over 23,298 tree seedlings planted and grown in ten years.
“It is particularly appropriate to celebrate our savings this month, said Dr. John E. Williams, superintendent of Rush County Schools. Energy Awareness Month is all about teaching people to make good decisions about the energy they use, and that’s what our program does. Today, every person on our staff uses energy as needed and is careful to never waste energy. By implementing best practices for energy use throughout our system, we create savings, enhance the learning environment and retain dollars for education - it’s the right thing to do.”
The successful cost saving program is implemented through a partnership with Cenergistic, the nation’s leading organizational behavior based conservation company whose energy management program has saved more than $3.2 billion for educational and complex organizations.
Using Cenergistic’s process, Rush County Schools have built a customized and sustainable energy conservation program that reduces consumption of electricity, natural gas, fuel oil and water through changes in organizational and human behavior.
Tom Simpson serves as energy specialist for Rush County Schools. He receives intensive training from Cenergistic energy consultants to determine and implement energy saving techniques throughout the system. He conducts energy audits to ensure that students, staff and faculty are comfortable during class time and scheduled activities, and that energy is used only as necessary. Cenergistic’s conservation experts work closely with Simpson to audit buildings and train personnel to control energy use wherever possible. Every energy-using item in the system including all heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, food service facilities, athletic facilities, offices and classrooms, auditoriums, cafeterias, information technology, and computer labs receive ongoing evaluation for the best, most efficient use of energy while ensuring that the learning environment is at its best.