Schools Save Energy, Earn Money

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli

November 10, 2006

Charlottesville is putting in place an incentive program in the schools. The more money they save on energy, the more cash they earn. Clark Elementary just received a check for over $1,000 dollars.

Clark's goal was to spend just under $15,000 on their energy bill. They ended up saving over $3,000 and the city of Charlottesville cut them a check for almost half as part of it's Environmental Sustainability Program.

"We're going to put some of it back into building maintenance. Our custodial staff is very happy about that and use the rest for teacher and student projects," said Clark Principal James Pierce.

They did it by turning out lights, shutting doors, and shutting off computers, but are also hoping to teach the kids about conservation.

"When we conserve our resources there, we can use them elsewhere and we can make sure that they are responsible consumers," said Pierce.

This is the first year of the program that is designed both to save money and teach students.

"Environmental issues are really at the forefront of American's mind right now and this was a real opportunity to do something special," said Lance Stewart, Facilities Management Manager.

Seven of the nine schools beat their goal and saved the city about $16,000 in the first quarter.

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