Energy conservation saves Pitt County Schools $256,000 since August

By  | 

The Pitt County School System says in just months, they've saved hundreds of thousands of dollars, just by saving on energy costs.

They say they credit those savings to enrolling in an energy conservation program at the start of the school year.

Back in August 2014, the school system started a partnership with an energy conservation and management program called Cenergistic.

Pitt County Schools Spokesman Brock Letchworth says Cenergistic's job was, "To try to change the culture and promote different behaviors with regards to energy conservation, and change the way you think about energy consumption."

And they changed Pitt County School's thinking in a big way, helping the district save more than $256,000, or seven percent of their $5-million energy budget.

Letchworth calls it a win win. He says, "It doesn't cost us anything. We are in partnership with them. They hire a couple of energy specialists to come into the district to work with our schools, principals, custodians."

Part of the success was as easy as turning off lights.

Lake Forest Elementary School custodian Janzalean Pitt knows every light switch and bulb where she works, and she's one reason why the district has been able to realize that savings.

Pitt says, "In the afternoon after the kids leave around 2:30 we go ahead and turn the lights off in the hallway half way, that's all around the building, making sure the bathroom lights are off, the closet lights are off."

The focus isn't entirely electricity - but also how the county uses natural gas, oil and water

The agreement is that Cenergistic will get half of what the school system saves. The rest will go back into supplies and materials for classroom use.

Pitt County is the only school district in the east, and one of just 3 in the state, that participates in this energy saving program, and they say they plan to continue doing so next year.