Power To Save: District Recognized For Energy Savings

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BUTLER TOWNSHIP -- When school districts can save money in energy costs, they can devote more money to educating students and save taxpayers money.

In this Power to Save report we see what one school district did that is now paying off with tens of thousands of dollars in savings.

We caught up with taxpayer Neil Disabella at the North Schuylkill High School near Frackville. He pays his school taxes every year.   He's also on a fixed income.

"I put so much away every month and I am 81 tomorrow," laughed Disabella when we wished him a happy birthday.

The district saved $300,000 during the last three years in electric costs.

"The most recent calendar year ending June 2013, our electric costs were $266,000, so we saved $105,000 a year," said business manager Robert Amos.

"That's a significant amount of millage we've been able to save our taxpayers with this energy program," said North Schuylkill Superintendent Andrew Smarkanic.

There are many aspects of saving that kind of money. For example when sensors detect activity in the gym, the lights are turned on. After 10 minutes without any movement the lights go off.

Those in charge of the program say it's not a 9 to 5 job.

"I noticed the library was a little warm on a Sunday, so I talked to Shawn, our maintenance lead, and he found out the management system wasn't turning it off on a Sunday," said teacher Kelly Stone.

Some of the school district complex is more than 30 years old. The school board plans on some major renovations which will include even more energy-saving programs.

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