Facilities Director Tommy Geralds, Energy Manager Bill Gittings, and a host of District leaders meet around a table and discuss various strategies in energy conservation and follow-up with action plans to meet expectations.
Students and Staff of Monroe County Schools should be made aware of their responsibility regarding Energy Conservation and Environmental Stewardship. We must make efficient use of our natural resources to lower energy costs. Our goal is to optimize the use of natural resources in the school on a daily basis yet maintain a comfortable learning environment.
Our Energy Program is designed to reduce energy and natural resource consumption by a minimum of 5%. Implementation and success of the Monroe County Schools Energy Plan is a joint responsibility of administrators, teachers, students, and the community. Cooperation from each of us is essential for success.
This plan calls for a people-oriented approach to resource management based on the following considerations:
• All unnecessary lighting in unoccupied areas must be turned off. Teachers and Custodians are asked to turn on lights only in the areas in which they are working. All lights will be turned off when teachers and students leave school. Custodians will turn on lights only in the immediate area in which they are working. Safety lighting will be held to the minimum level necessary for safe passage.
• Computers, copy machines, and all other office equipment are expected to be used at their most energy efficient level.
• The Custodian at each school or building will be responsible for complete and total shutdown of the facility when students are not present.
• A school closure of two or more days will be viewed as an "energy conservation opportunity.” The Custodian and the Facilities Director will be responsible for the highest degree of energy conservation when the school building is closed for weekends, and during extended vacation periods (fall break, winter break, and spring break). A checklist of items to consider has been administered.
The foregoing plan is discussed at each Monthly Energy Meeting whereas Facilities Director Tommy Geralds, Energy Manager Bill Gittings, and a host of District leaders meet around a table and discuss various strategies in energy conservation and follow-up with action plans to meet expectations. Monroe County Schools have applied for and have now obtained the prestigious title of Energy Star Partner. With this entitlement our school system is dedicated to be proactive in purchases and possible savings 24 hours each day.
We submit on-going KEEPS reports to the state and analyze our own energy consumption status on an on-going basis. We have also recently conducted a KEEPS Energy Audit and are anxiously awaiting feedback on not only our status, but to also learn other practical methods for additional savings.
The Monroe County School District has worked diligently with Ameresco and Innovative Controls to create major savings, especially with our school lighting and air-conditioning programmed by computer to go into sleep mode at a certain time in the afternoon and to wake up in early morning before the staff members arrive.
Our Principals, Teachers, and Students are on board, to the extent that students are now active members of individual School Energy Teams and pursuing to administer a recycling program of their own. These and many more changes are major contributors to great savings for the Monroe County School District and its taxpaying citizens.