CVUSD saved $110,281 in energy costs from March to August of this year due to the recent partnership of the Board of Education with Energy Education. That dollar amount translates to 18.48 percent in savings.
The goal of this partnership is to reduce energy usage throughout CVUSD. The Board of Education’s decision to partner with Energy Education was heavily based on California’s budget cuts to education. By reducing energy consumption, and in turn reducing the utility budget, the district will have more funds to allocate for educational purposes.
Energy Education has worked nationwide with many school districts to reduce energy consumption. The firm was named the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Partner of the Year in both 2009 and 2010.
The new energy plan does not require an increase in the utility budget because the program is self-funding. In order for the program to be successful, habits regarding energy usage will have to be altered. These small changes will lead to money saved in the long run.
Dustin Gacherieu, a fifth grade teacher at Chabot Elementary School, was selected as an energy specialist to execute the new energy program and has trained with Energy Education.
“Our target goal is to reduce energy usage by 30 percent across the district,” said Gacherieu. “Our goal is twofold. One is to reduce the impact that we have on the environment, to reduce our carbon foot print. Our secondary goal is to save money on our energy bill so that we can redirect it and use that money to spend on the students instead of sending it off to PG&E.”
Gacherieu pointed out that one way to save energy at school is to unplug electronics, such as refrigerators, when they are not in use. At CVHS alone, there are over 60 mini refrigerators in teachers’ rooms; there are hundreds of refrigerators across the district.
“One of our energy reduction strategies is to ask teachers to empty out and unplug their refrigerators when they go on a break of a week or longer,” Gacherieu said. “We can actually save $20 per refrigerator a year by unplugging them during breaks such as Thanksgiving, winter break, spring break, and summer break.”