By law, the EVSC is able to spend up to $4.2 million out of its capitol projects fund toward utilities. Last year EVSC spent more than 6-million dollars on utilities and the balance dug into the school corporation's general fund.
In an effort to lower the bottom line on its utility bills, the EVSC is launching a new energy savings campaign, called Conservation for Education. The program will focus on changing the habits of administrators, teachers, and students -- encouraging them to be more energy efficient. Pat Tuley, EVSC's chief facilities officer, says preliminary projections suggest the school will save $550 thousand to $670 thousand annually by changing behavior across the school corporation.
The program includes big incentives for schools. The EVSC will give back 40-percent of its savings to schools that save energy. Officials say the schools will be able to use that money as they wish. The district that saves the most energy will receive an additional 10-percent of that savings.
Students were involved early-on with the campaign. Those enrolled in the Harrison-based Center for Family and Community Outreach program designed the logos and slogans for the program. Harrison High School senior Whittney Hales was among those who helped create the logo. She says the experience is already making her think twice about wasting energy.
"When I step out of the room now I make sure I turn off the light or make sure I unplug what I'm not using," says Hales. "It just makes you conscious about what you're doing."
"That's the result we want right there," says Tuley. "We want everyone involved, everyone engaged. We want everybody thinking about it."
The schools' savings will be determined in 10 months, but Tuley says the program will continue following the end of this year.