BRENTWOOD -- Over the next decade, the Brentwood Union School District's energy management program is projected to pay for 30 full-time teaching positions through daily energy saving measures, according to district officials.
Just 14 months into the energy program, which includes a strong educational component, the district has saved $251,771. According to district Energy Education Specialist Derrick Bullington, a majority of the savings have been accomplished through training employees to change their habits, such as turning off lights and computers when not needed in classrooms or computer labs.
"A lot of people are in the habit now of shutting things off," he said.
One effective cost-saving measure has been to initiate blackouts after 10 p.m. on all of the district's campuses, including the exterior and parking lot lights. Bullington noted that this has led to a reduction in vandalism and loitering by students after hours as well as significant savings.
The district spends almost $2 million annually on utilities, Bullington said. Bullington said that he visits each campus every three weeks to communicate and collaborate with principals, school site employees and maintenance and operations staff.
"We have been able to identify leaks at different school sites," said district Chief Business Official Liz Robbins of the program.
The district collaborates with Cenergistic, an energy conservation company, on reducing its energy usage and avoiding related costs. Energy usage can be monitored 24 hours per day and seven days per week and Bullington noted that the main goal is to achieve 20 percent savings at all of the school sites.
"This is part of our world that we need to be aware of," said Brentwood school board member Emil Geddes regarding efforts to educate students about energy conservation through the program.
BUSD Interim Superintendent Doug Adams emphasized that Brentwood's Pioneer Elementary School was the first California elementary school to utilize a solar energy system and Adams Middle School was one of the largest campuses to implement a similar system.
"This is really an easy money-saver," Adams said.
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