School System Saves $122,000

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | e-mail | Twitter

AMERICUS, GA (WTVM) - Several people are attempting to "go green" by adjusting their daily routines, but one local school system saved big with small changes.

When Sumter County Schools were encouraged to cut down on energy costs, principals stepped up to the challenge.

Americus-Sumter High School Principal, Ronald Gadson told News Leader Nine, "The energy-saving program is a conscience effort by the school to cut back on waste. We're trying to be more green and we're finding a lot of things we were supporting -- with electricity, gas usage -- was really a waste."

Principal Gadson took it upon himself to eliminate any phantom power the school was using, "Basically what we did was ask teachers to unplug refrigerators, fans, microwaves because those are things we can do without. We don't necessarily have to have those things in our building. Although those things make us more comfortable, we don't have to have them to deliver instruction."

When teachers found out they couldn't keep their drinks cold, or heat up their lunches, they weren't big fans of the idea.

"Initially they didn't like it, but they're a good group of teachers and now they offer their support whole-heartedly," said Gadson.

The entire school system has saved nearly $122,000 by turning off lights when they leave a room or practicing what they call "Kill-a-Watt". Americus-Sumter High just so happened to save the most.

Gadson added, "As we begin to cut back on those things we found out we had a wealth of savings. At this time, for the last three months we have saved 40 to 41 percent on our electricity bill, which is outstanding. That's money we can apply to teachers and resources and other things that are necessary for us to operate."