Schools leap into energy savings

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(August 23, 2012, EL CENTRO) – Imperial Irrigation District awarded 40 schools in Imperial County with over 1.2 million dollars in funding for energy efficiency projects through IID’s Learning Energy Awareness Program – Call for Projects.

 

Each school will receive grants ranging from $640 to $35,000 according to the project they submitted. Approved projects consist of upgrades to HVAC systems, lighting equipment or a combination of the two. All projects will be completed in 2012.

 

In addition to saving on their energy costs, participating schools will also reduce their carbon footprint. Completion of these projects will save an estimated 1,013,427 kilowatt-hours of electricity, the equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of 137 cars.

 

“The upgrades were not in our budget for this coming year,” said Sherry Spencer, director of state and federal programs for the Calexico Unified School District. “The LEAP grants are such a welcome opportunity for our district. With the help of IID we are able to not only purchase new equipment, but will also be saving on our energy costs.”

 

According to the California Energy Commission, California schools have historically spent the same amount of money on their energy costs as they have on books and supplies each year. By employing energy efficiency in schools, they can cut energy bills by 20 to 40 percent, leaving money for other educational priorities or reinvestment into additional energy efficient upgrades.

 

“Most school districts are continually burdened with limited budgets, particularly for facility upgrades,” said Sabrina Barber, IID assistant energy manager. “Through the financial assistance of this program, school officials are able to move beyond initial costs associated with implementation of energy efficient upgrades towards the realization of long-term energy cost savings and continue to focus on providing a first-rate education to our children.”

 

Based on the success of this program, IID anticipates offering a similar program in 2013. A complete list of participating schools can be found at www.iid.com/leap .

 

About LEAP – Call for Projects:

LEAP- Call for Projects is a new initiative to IID. The initial phase of the program is designed to assist public educational institutions that serve students from kindergarten through high school in the realization of energy efficient upgrades to their facilities through financial incentives.