Green Efforts Pay Off For School District
As see in The Arizona Republic.
The Scottsdale Unified School District is going green. From installing motion sensors in all classrooms to white roofs on buildings, the effort has paid off with more than $400,000 in energy rebates from utility companies.
Many school districts are grappling with the possible loss of utilities funding.
A state law that allows school districts to pay for portions of their utility bills with local property taxes expires in 2010. For the Scottsdale district, it means a potential loss of almost $6 million from its operating budget.
Many of Scottsdale Unified School District's green efforts have come through the rebuilding of four high schools, but others are smaller changes that add up to big savings, like changing the toilet paper.
The new toilet paper comes without the cardboard core, which school officials estimate will amount to a savings of 6.4 tons of waste.
Waterless urinals were installed at the high schools. Each saves about 40,000 gallons of water per year, Peterson said.
Scottsdale Unified last year conserved enough energy to power 800 homes. But the district's overall power costs still increased by 4 percent, Peterson said.
Those increases are even more reasons to go green.
Districtwide, new lamps and ballasts are saving 40 to 50 percent on energy costs. More efficient fluorescent bulbs are replacing incandescent bulbs.
"We need to make smart decisions and take care of the easy stuff," said John Muir, the district's director of building services.
Still, some critics say that going green sometimes costs more.
The key is to be strategic about it, Peterson said.
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