Kingsport Times News Friday, August 28, 2015

Local News

Energy contract could save Sullivan schools millions

May 7th, 2012 10:52 pm by Rick Wagner

BLOUNTVILLE — Sullivan County school leaders next month plan to finalize an energy-savings contract that could save $9 million over 10 years.

The Board of Education reviewed a draft contract with Energy Education Inc., which Director of Schools Jubal Yennie said has received good marks from superintendents he has talked with from system’s using EEI across the state. The board is to consider approving the contract at its Tuesday, June 5 meeting, moved from the normal Monday because of a principals retreat being held that day.

For the first five years, EEI will charge the system 45 percent of its utilities savings or utilities cost avoidance. In exchange, EEI will help monitor the system’s utilities usage and make suggestions for changes.

“They are paid out of the savings,” Yennie said, “so they have to demonstrate those savings.” He said the savings will be tracked “month to month.”

After the first five years, the system gets to keep the savings or reap the cost avoidance for years six through 10 as long as the system stays with the program.

The program, separate from energy savings from Energy Systems Group through things like more efficient lights, sinks and toilets, will help educate and train school system employees to save energy. Yennie said the only options to save money or reduce utility increases are for rates to decrease, usage to decrease or some combination of both.

Yennie said the program will take a close, hard look at all energy and utilities usage. For instance, he said in one system EEI found that a school system was paying for what should have been a city street light. Over time, he said such small misdirected billing and wasteful use can add up.

Before approval, Yennie said EEI’s proposal will be updated to reflect the closing of Cedar Grove and Kingsley elementary schools in the Sullivan North High School zone and the reopening of the Ketron school building as Ketron Elementary School.

Read the full story in Tuesday's print or enhanced electronic edition of the Times-News.


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