By SEÁN O’DONOGHUE
HAMLIN – Five Lincoln County schools again received Energy Star awards, last week, reflecting efforts at the facilities to tackle energy use and reduce utility bills for the school system. The school system’s energy manager, Joe Parsons, presented the awards at a principals meeting in Hamlin.
The meeting of school leaders with Superintendent Patricia Lucas and her team took place Tuesday morning, February 12, 2013, at Hamlin Community Center. After brief opening remarks from Lucas, Parsons offered an overview of the program and explanations as to why two schools did not receive the award this year.
Parsons said that Harts PK-8 was not eligible given its status as a new school. In order to be considered for the Energy Star, a full year of baseline data and a year of comparable data is required. Harts PK-8 opened in January of 2012. The current year therefore will be used in comparison with the 2012 energy data for a future Energy Star submission.
With regard to Duval PK-8, Parsons praised the work of Principal Kim Clayton and her team. He noted, however, that new air conditioning units had been installed at the facility with a separate meter. Those meter readings were submitted despite having no comparable data, meaning the school would not receive an Energy Star for now. Parsons said that matter is being looked at, with a view to rectifying the situation and securing the Energy Star.
Parsons told the meeting that since the energy management program was undertaken in May of 2008, around $1.2 million in utility spending had been saved or avoided. For the current 12-month period so far, from May 2012 to December 2012, Parsons said over $200,000 had been saved.
RESA II Executive Director Dr. Dee Cockrille, who was present for the meeting, congratulated the principals. She said that though most counties in the region now have energy managers, energy management is not an easy task. Cockrille also spoke of the importance of cost avoidance, adding that Lincoln County is a model. “You’re really working on cost savings more than anyone in the state,” said Cockrille.
Parsons told the principals, that by winning the award, their facility is among the top 25 percent in the nation. The Energy Star awards were presented to:
•West Hamlin Elementary – Principal Kirk King
•Midway Elementary – Principal Don Davis
•Guyan Valley Middle School – Principal Jonah Adkins
•Hamlin PK-8 – Principal Becky Ferguson
•Ranger Elementary – Principal Christina Napier
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