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New Hanover Co. Schools cuts power bill by $1M

READ MORE: New Hanover Co. Schools cuts power bill by $1M

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A program aimed at lowering the costs of energy and water for New Hanover County Schools appears to be paying off.

EduCon, the company the school district partnered with last year to help reduce energy consumption and costs, says the school district save almost $1 million the first year of the program. The school board learned about the results at its meeting last night.

According to EduCon, the numbers show the school system's commitment achieved an actual cost savings of $990,000 (15.4 percent) and adjusted cost savings of $1,479,000 (21.4 percent). The company says adjusted cost savings takes rate increases into account and is a better gauge of the program's success.

"The first year adjusted cost savings exceeded the school system’s goal of $800,000. That is an excellent result," EduCon CEO Nelson Jessup said in a news release. "Our focus in year one has been directed at the energy services - electricity, natural gas and propane - which account for 86 percent of utility expenditures. We have made great progress in year one and see many opportunities for an even better year two."

EduCon says decreases in consumption include a 10.4 million (20 percent) kilowatt hour reduction in electricity and more than 27 million cubic feet reduction in natural gas (37 percent). As a result, the carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) have been reduced by 16.4 million pounds.

"That's the equivalent of eliminating 1,091 cars from the highway or planting 2,233 acres of trees," Jessup said.

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Energy Savings at what cost?

Has anyone invstigated as to the long term cost the energy saving are going to be? School teachers having black mold growing in their classrooms, band instruments warping, health problems due to black mold, students and teachers alike aggitated when it is to hot? Would make an interesting story.

Energy Savings at what cost?

No black mold will be growing, nor will band instruments warp. Cutting the cost of the utility bills is cutting out energy waste. Often times this can be done simply by reprogramming thermostats and already automated heating and cooling systems or utilizing one water heating system at 140 degrees for the lunchroom/kitchen and turning down the heat to 120 degrees on the back up system used for the bathrooms. Another way to save on energy costs is to take a look at your utility bill to see what program you have and what rate you are paying. For a large company, owning your own transformers saves quite a bit every month.

People don't realize how much energy is wasted by lights in the class room being left on when no one is in the room. Nor do they realize how redundant some convenience appliances are, like keeping personal microwaves and small refrigerators in private offices, instead of using the microwave in the break room, etc...

Further, this company doesn't get paid up front, they take a percentage of the money they help the school system save and they don't take it without absolute proof of savings which show up in the utility bills every month like clockwork.

That's why they give 1.2%

That's why they give 1.2% and hired more bosses and they don't want give any decent raises and the board pockets the money and says they are broke.