Client News Ohio

Energy company works to find onsite specialist at Austintown schools

By Susan Tebben

Potential candidates for a new “energy specialist” position at Austintown schools came to listen to the job description straight from the board’s hired energy auditor.

Mac Cowine, vice president and energy consultant with Cenergistic Inc., gave a room of internal candidates at Austintown Middle School descriptions Thursday of energy-saving goals and statistics for monetary savings they could help bring to fruition as the district’s energy specialist.

“It’s about getting people to do what you do at home,” Cowine said. “You don’t leave a light on when you leave a room at home, and that’s what will be happening in the schools.”

The Austintown Board of Education approved a four-year contract for $90,000 per year with Cenergistic to conduct energy audits and find potential utility-consumption savings, and teach new strategies for energy saving to everyone from students and teachers to janitors.

The energy specialist — a part-time position paying $16,000 per year, according to Mal Culp, supervisor of facilities and operations — will conduct 10 to 15 audits of the school facilities per week.

“That doesn’t mean you’ll go through every part of the buildings every time, except in the first few months,” Cowine said. “The energy specialist should know the buildings better than anyone else.”

The specialist will determine what areas need improvement and what is being done to save energy, inputting it all on software provided by the company.

The company not only is projecting approximately $2.2 million in net savings over 10 years at the district, but also says it can save money in going through utility bills as well.

“Our company has saved our clients a total of $19.4 million in wrong rate codes … and billing errors picked up by our specialists,” Cowine said.

The company is planning to pick an internal client within the district, because of their knowledge of the schools and the school culture.

The position already has been posted on the school website, and interviews are set to start Feb. 13, Culp said.

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