An energy conservation program implemented by Abilene Independent School District less than a year ago has already saved more than half a million dollars in utility costs.
When the was first introduced last December in AISD, district officials knew they would see savings, but what happened from there far exceeded their expectations.
"It's fantastic. I knew we were saving money. Everyone, maintenance, custodial, students, teachers, were doing their part but when I saw that number... I was surprised," said Rickey Wallace, Energy Education Specialist for AISD.
The year isn't over but they've already saved $587,000. That's a 19.3% decrease from last year.
They did it by asking teachers, students and staff at 40 district buildings to simply
turn off lights, shut windows, and turn off or unplug anything that's not in use.
"We don't need to be cooling desktops when nobody's there," said Wallace.
Wallace and Melissa Chabek, another Energy Education Specialist for AISD, perform 25 to 30 audits every week. They spend about 80% of their times in the buildings, making sure everything is being done to conserve as much energy as possible.
They say teachers, students, and the janitorial staffs of the schools are to thank for the huge savings. Most of the savings happen because they are turning everything off when the building is unoccupied.
By April, the savings are expected to increase to $860,000.