Georgetown County School District saves taxpayers more than $300,000
February 29, 2012
It is a well-known fact one way to save money is to do the job yourself rather than hiring someone else to do the task.
That is a simple concept used by the Georgetown County School District’s Energy Management Department which, they say, has saved taxpayers more than $303,364 in the past two years.
When the amount of energy that has been saved as a result of the new equipment is factored in, taxpayers have saved more than $454,500 in the past year, said Tony Holcomb, the school district energy manager as he addressed the school board last week.
He was speaking about steps that have been taken at schools that has made a big difference on the amount spent on electricity.
New devices were installed at the schools to control natural gas and electricity consumption, Holcomb told the board. At Georgetown High, that included the installation of 40 classroom HVAC units, a 50 ton chiller, two natural gas boilers and a 300 gallon water heater.
An outside contractor would have done the work for $275,000, Holcomb said. Since the district did the work in-house, it saved more than $184,300 at that school alone.
“That is money in our pocket,” Holcomb said.
Three years ago the district received a grant from the S.C. Energy Office to begin an energy saving program. The money is passed through the state by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
While energy saving steps have been taken at all schools, the grant allowed the work to take place at Waccamaw Elementary, Waccamaw High and Pleasant Hill Elementary. Work at Georgetown High was paid with district funds.
Holcomb says what has been installed are “control modules.” They are used to control water heaters as well as the heating and air conditioning units.
The HVAC units are programmed to go into an “unoccupied building” mode. In the winter, the controls keep the buildings at 60 degrees and at 78 degrees in the summer.
Holcomb said this past summer, the district used 120,000 less kilowatt hours as a result of the changes.
The goal is to save over $7 million in the first ten years.
By Scott Harper
(taken from Georgetown Times