District Saves More than $500,000 in Energy Costs

More than half a million dollars was saved by Guilford County Schools this summer as a result of a modified work week for most district employees.

The district's energy costs were reduced by $508,413 for the months of June, July and August 2011, during which time central offices were open 10 hours a day for four days a week. The program was part of a $1 million budgeted reduction in energy expenses for 2011-12 and was expected to save about $200,000.

"These savings are key to our goal to reduce energy expenses by $1 million this year," says Chief Operations Officer Andrew LaRowe. "By everyone working together to achieve energy savings, we've been able to maintain other resources in our schools to support educational excellence."

From June 13 to August 12, district central offices were open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Maintenance staff and building managers worked to ensure energy use was at a minimum Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Energy savings continue year round through the district's effective approach to resource conservation, including the Energy Wise program, which uses student-driven teams to seek out and eliminate energy waste in schools. As a pilot program last year, Energy Wise won awards at the national and state levels.