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Findlay schools looking for more energy savings

By MAX FILBY
STAFF WRITER

Findlay City Schools is considering hiring an energy conservation company to reduce the district’s energy bills.

The school board on Monday heard from a representative of Cenergistic, based in Dallas, Texas, about the savings the district could achieve. Cenergistic has estimated it could save Findlay schools a little more than $107,000 in the first 16 months if the district implemented its energy-saving strategies.

“They’re going to squeeze out more dollars to save us dollars,” Superintendent Dean Wittwer said.

Cenergistic would hire a local person, perhaps a recent retiree from the school district, to manage the company’s operation in Findlay. The manager would observe and identify ways to conserve energy, such as adjusting air conditioning levels on non-school days or turning lights out in unused classrooms.

“If there’s a teacher opening a window up during prime heating season, then you just lost some heat,” Wittwer said. “It’s that humanistic element.”

During the district’s first five years under its energy conservation plan, Cenergistic would take a portion of the savings as payment. If the company wasn’t able to reach its goal in energy savings with the district, Cenergistic would then cut Findlay schools a check for the difference, the representative said.

Cenergistic has saved its clients a combined total of $3.4 billion in more than 20,000 buildings, according to its website. Westerville City Schools, located just outside of Columbus, has saved $11 million during an eight-year period, according to a document from Cenergistic.

Westerville Schools has 22 buildings while Findlay City Schools has 14, including the Findlay Digital Academy.

Wittwer said he wants Findlay to use energy savings for other projects and classroom needs.

“It’s prudent for us to keep on this,” Wittwer said. “Our responsibility is to make sure we’re getting the best bang for our buck with energy efficiency.”

The school district on Monday was presented with a $110,000 check from the Ohio division of American Electric Power. The check was to reward the district for the savings it is already achieving in energy use, mostly from the two middle schools and Millstream Career Center that opened a year and a half ago, said Tracie Campbell, marketing and advertising coordinator for American Electric Power in Ohio.

The school district is already saving about $250,000 a year in energy, AEP officials said.

Filby: 419-427-8422
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