City schools look for energy efficiency

Published 12:35 am Friday, October 29, 2010

The Andalusia Board of Education is working toward cost savings through energy efficiency.
The board heard a presentation from Jack Mancil of ESG, a company that specializes in energy audits to help reduce carbon footprints, earlier this week.
Mancil said ESG has identified simple changes such as lower wattage lighting. The schools currently use 36-watt lamps, and could shift to 28-watt lamps to save energy.
In addition, Mancil suggested placing freezers on an energy management system, so that the freezer stopped working it would alarm and the food could be saved.
Another suggestion would be to place the hallway lighting on an energy management system, as well as put the hallways and the HVAC on the system.
Mancil his organization would work with the board to provide solutions that would allow it to quantify savings and use the savings to pay for needed improvements.
“The EPA says that energy costs are second only to personnel costs in businesses,” he said. “We will work to reduce your energy costs by 30 percent.”
Mancil said his company guarantees cost savings or they will reimburse the board.
“Since we would design and implement, that means we’re holding a lot,” he said. “Therefore, we guarantee a lot. It’s like a lease-purchase with a guarantee, know that if the savings don’t take place, we have to write you a check for the difference.”
Mancil said ESG is a vendor-neutral company, and therefore has the ability to implement the best systems to suit their clients’ needs.
Mancil also suggested starting a school-wide and even system-wide competition to challenge the students and staff to conserve energy.
Board chairman Dr. Bill King asked about how the savings would be affected if there were a brutal summer in which the air conditioning was used longer.
Mancil said the system would still pay “x” less than normal, but the comparison would have to be done based on usage.
The board is expected to look into the program and make a decision at a later date.