Denmark schools get energy-saving advice
August 22, 2012
By JERRY DURGAN, T&D Correspondent
DENMARK — Bamberg School District Two trustees heard a presentation on ways the district can lower its energy usage and costs during the school board’s Aug. 13 meeting.
Jennifer Asman, program coordinator for the Conservation Voters of South Carolina, reported that a crew from her organization recently toured district facilities to determine their energy efficiency.
“This is … our pilot effort,” she said of the Bamberg School District Two tour. “Obviously it saves money to be more energy efficient, (and) it makes the school a more comfortable place to learn.”
Asman suggested some ways the district can reduce its energy consumption.
“The biggest opportunity you have to save a lot of money is to go in and implement more aggressive heating, ventilation and air conditioning scheduling techniques. Right now your lighting, heating and cooling is scheduled from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day … weekends and holidays included. Obviously, you use a ton of energy” with this type of scheduling, she said.
“This is very simple … turn off lights when not needed, program your heating, ventilation and air conditioning to shut down during weekends, holidays, breaks … whenever the schools are closed.“
Asman said all of the pilot lights in the school kitchens were also lit during her group’s walk-through this summer.
“You actually use up to three times more gas per year. You can cut these off very easily, even during weekends and breaks. It’s not something where you have to light a match to restart (the pilots), so it’s not a safety issue. Doing this will show an immediate effect on your energy bill,” she said.
Asman added, “Just the elementary school spends about $60,000 a year on energy, and it goes up from there. Your high school spends $130,000 a year.”
Another option for the district to consider is weatherization, she said. The CVSC crew did some a couple of weeks ago.
“There are a bunch of exterior doors that have large cracks,” and windows that leak air, Asman said. “Just simply caulking those and applying weather stripping will cut down your energy costs.
“In the elementary school, there are a lot of broken windows … covered with plywood, which is understandable. … They block the sun’s rays. However, they don’t block the heat and cold from going in and out. (This) runs your HVAC much more than it needs to be.”
She talked about a variety of cost-saving measures the district can put in place, including programmable water fountains, hot water heaters and lighting — including replacing the T-12 fluorescent light bulbs with more efficient lighting.
Asman told the trustees of several ways the district can get help and support to pay for energy usage reduction through South Carolina Electric and Gas Co. and the S.C. Energy Office in Columbia.
Also during the August meeting:
* Superintendent Dr. Thelma Sojourner presented a certificate of achievement from the S.C. School Board Association to trustee Loretta Goodman.
* Dr. Ruby Johnson, district director of instructional services, discussed the week-long staff development training for teachers and administrators on education standards and common core curriculum.
* Sojourner introduced Lorraine Peeples, the new principal of Denmark-Olar Elementary School.
(taken from The Time and Democrat