Kamloops This Week
Going green is proving fruitful for the Kamloops-Thompson school district.
According to a report presented to the district’s board of education last week, SD73 has saved nearly $5 million since 2004 due to decreased energy consumption – largely thanks to improved efficiencies.
The report, completed by SD73 facilities and transportation director Art McDonald, notes the district has cut its use of electricity, natural gas, propane, water, diesel and gasoline by substantial amounts during the last 10 years and decreased greenhouse-gas emissions by more than 20 per cent.
According to McDonald, the largest reduction has been in electricity use, which is down 33 per cent since the 2001-2002 school year.
He credited lighting and HVAC upgrades, improved control systems, installation of LCD computer monitors and a more mindful staff.
The drop in electricity use was also helped by Clearwater secondary switching in 2004 from electric heating to propane.
McDonald said that move cut the district’s power usage by seven per cent, but caused a brief spike in district-wide propane use in 2006-2007.
Water consumption is down 12 per cent in the district since 2001, the report states, thanks to better irrigation controls, low-flow fixtures and changes in landscaping techniques.
McDonald said groundskeepers are now cutting school grass longer and “allowing the odd brown spot.”
Fuel consumption has also dropped substantially.
According to the report, diesel use is down 11 per cent and gasoline 10 per cent since 2001.
McDonald credited district drivers for reducing idling time and more fuel-efficient vehicles, as well as a lower number of field trips.
According to the report, SD73 saved $828,000 in the 2011-2012 school year, based on energy consumption costs from 2001-2002.
The largest chunk of that savings was in electricity costs, which were down $415,000, followed by natural gas at $227,000.
McDonald said the district saved $90,000 on fuel last school year — $78,000 in diesel and $12,000 in gasoline.