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Monday, November 8, 2010

Saving energy generates needed cash for schools - Education - MiamiHerald.com

What a concept. Do you turn off all of your printers when you're not using them? Automatic thermostats to change the temperature on nights and weekends? I bet that would pay for Revit subscription.

Source: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/11/07/1914459/saving-energy-generates-needed.html
Saving energy generates needed cash for schools - Education - MiamiHerald.com

Miami-Dade schools had energy-saving targets and a cash incentive to exceed their goals.


Turning off the lights and closing classroom doors paid off in a big way for some Miami-Dade schools.

Last year, more than 260 schools took part in a district-wide campaign to conserve energy. All together, the schools saved about $6 million and 46 million kilowatt hours.

Now, 500,000 of those dollars are making their way back to the schools that saved the most.

The biggest winner was Coconut Palm K-8 Center in Homestead, which earned $43,895.

``It's far more than we thought we'd be getting,'' principal Linda Amica-Roberts said.

Her school will use the money to fund eco-friendly projects like a community garden.

Their secret to saving energy?

``The district gave us a plan and we followed the plan,'' Amica-Roberts said.

Coconut Palm teachers remembered to unplug computers and appliances during holiday breaks. And students were encouraged to turn off the lights and the computer screens when they left their classroom.

Coconut Palm saved 629,000 kilowatt hours over the course of the school year -- enough to power more than five dozen homes for 10 months.

Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho launched the energy-saving program at the beginning of the 2009-10 school year. Each school was given a target for how much energy they should save. The schools that went above and beyond their goals were allowed to spend three-quarters of the money they saved the school district.

School district Sustainability Officer Ana Rijo-Conde said the effort helped schools to become more aware of their consumption habits.

It also gave teachers, students and staff members a strong incentive to go green.

At Winston Park K-8 Center in West Kendall, Principal Carlos Diaz plans to spend his school's $8,456 in winnings on textbooks and technology.

``It provides me with some breathing room,'' Diaz said of the windfall that will help in a tight budget year.

Jose Marti Middle in Hialeah conserved 95,000 kilowatt hours of energy by installing devices to turn power off at specific times.

``Also, doors, which were once left open, remained closed,'' Principal Jose Enriquez said.

The payoff: $6,627.

``The fact that we knew we were going to make some extra money helped motivate us,'' Enriquez said.

Like other schools, Jose Marti Middle will use the funds to help boost student achievement. Enriquez said it will help pay teachers to tutor students who can't afford tutoring.

Melrose Elementary School, near Allapattah, netted $3,453.

Principal Sergio Muñoz plans to put the money toward classroom supplies and attendance incentives for students.

Carvalho said he was pleased with the program.

``Let these amounts stand as an incentive to all principals in all schools,'' Carvalho said. ``If you want dollars reinvested back in your schools, turn off the lights when they're not being used. Conserve.''

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/11/07/1914459/saving-energy-generates-needed.html#ixzz14l2FGbNg


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