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Energy conservation earns SKSD grant

By CHRIS CHANCELLOR
Port Orchard Independent Staff Writer
January 24, 2014 · Updated 3:59 PM
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The South Kitsap School District was awarded $17,500 from Puget Sound Energy for power conservation on Jan. 15. / Dannie Oliveaux/Staff Photo

South Kitsap School District’s energy conversation will be worth more than just the money it saved.

On Jan. 15, district officials announced that Puget Sound Energy awarded it $17,500 for its power management throughout SKSD.

The district participants in PSE’s voluntary Resource Conservation Management program. PSE annually reviews energy data of those customers and compares that to past results. In its most recent review, PSE noted that SKSD reduced energy consumption by 9.5 percent from the 2011-12 school year. That saved SKSD $119,644, according to Paula Rossa, SKSD’s facilities operations coordinator.

Sheryl Anayas, program manager for RCM Support Services, said SKSD was among 14 school districts that received grants from PSE.

Rossa said this marks the third time in seven years that the district has been awarded an “incentive grant” by PSE.

“It speaks to the ongoing commitment of everyone in the district,” she said.

Mike Riley, SKSD’s assistant director of facilities and operations, said he expects the incentive grant to be earmarked toward equipment and lighting upgrades throughout the district. Those include the conversion to LED lighting in the parking lots at Hidden Creek, Mullenix Ridge and Sidney Glen elementary schools and inside South Kitsap High School. Riley said those schools were selected because the district already has made upgrades on other campuses.

Riley described lighting upgrades as “low-hanging fruit” because it is less expensive than other projects, but saves SKSD a lot of money.

SKSD has made several energy upgrades in recent years. In 2012, director of facilities and operations Tom O’Brien said that SKSD was awarded a $204,588 grant from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction along with a $99,220 grant from Puget Sound Energy. Those grants along with $163,000 SKSD used in energy savings from previous projects enabled the district to make an estimated $400,000 investment in the SKSD’s infrastructure.

Those projects included replacing the control ventilation in the gymnasiums and commons areas at Hidden Creek and Sidney Glen elementary schools and Cedar Heights Junior High. Instead of having those systems running nonstop, O’Brien said sensors detect whether people are in rooms.

“It won’t pump fresh air into rooms without people,” he said at the time.

O’Brien also said there was a “major modification” to the heating and cooling plant that was installed in the late 1970s at Marcus Whitman Junior High, and the cooling unit at SKSD’s central kitchen, which was installed during the 1940s, was replaced with a walk-in cooler. He said the district also finished replacing the remaining T12 fluorescent light bulbs — a project that began in 2000 — with T8’s in the parking lots and portables where they remain.

 

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