Greenville County Schools receives stimulus money to lower energy costs
August 21, 2009
Greenville County Schools has been awarded $1.9 million in federal stimulus funds by the South Carolina Budget and Control Board’s State Energy Office to upgrade lighting, heating and air conditioning units at several district schools.
Lighting upgrades will be made to Hillcrest High School, Heritage Elementary School and Bethel Elementary School. Hillcrest, Wade Hampton, Greenville and Mauldin High Schools will all receive upgrades to their heating and air conditioning systems.
“It is imperative, especially in these economic times, that every effort is made to reduce utility and other operating costs to maximize financial resources to support students and classroom instruction,” said GCS Superintendent Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher. “These federal stimulus funds will also allow us to continue our efforts to enhance the education environment through improved air quality and lighting in our schools.”
Of the total $1.9 million granted to Greenville County Schools, $180,000 will be spent on an energy conservation management program designed to help the district find new ways to increase energy efficiency in all of its buildings.
These improvements will provide immediate cost savings for taxpayers. Greenville County Schools will save almost $340,000 annually in energy costs.
“The improvements for Greenville County will provide savings paybacks for the district far into the future,” said John Clark, director of the South Carolina Energy Office. “By combining lighting and HVAC repairs with a performance contractor’s services, GCS will see savings for years to come.”
The Energy Office will be administering 150 awards totaling $40 million to public entities in the next few months. The state’s 85 school districts are sharing $20.3 million in grants and loans for energy efficiency. The state’s two- and four-year colleges are receiving a total of $12.2 million, and state agencies are getting $7.4 million for energy efficiency improvements. Each entity is guaranteed an allocation based on the size of the organization’s energy bill.