Energy efficiency

The New Albany Schools Board of Trustees has taken a big step forward in modernizing the energy-consuming equipment in its schools.

The board, at the recommendation of Superintendent Jackie Ford, has voted to spend $2.8 million to make improvements at the elementary, middle and high schools.
Much of the work involves replacement of much of the heating and cooling equipment at New Albany Middle School and New Albany High School. Both schools are using old inefficient systems that were in need of modernization or replacement.
Also involved is replacement of much of the lighting in the schools, installation of automated temperature monitors in food storage units in cafeterias and installation of 147 new thermostats throughout the schools.
The school district currently spends nearly $450,000 a year on utilities and that number is expected to go down significantly with the new equipment.
The district hired Schneider Electric of Palatine, Ill., to conduct an energy audit at the schools and determine a minimum amount that could be saved over the next 15 years with the new equipment. The good news is that the number if $1.9 million.
Piece-meal fixes of worn-out equipment would have been expensive and not have achieved the savings.
We think doing an overhaul of the entire system was a smart move on the part of the district.
Ford and the board have done the right thing for our taxpayers and our children.