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Schools see over $125,000 in energy savings

By NEESEY PAYNE
neesey@southwesttimes.com

Pulaski County Public Schools saw savings in its electric and gas costs for the month of April.

Compared to April 2011, the school system saved $125,575 in electrical costs. Although with the fuel factor rate increase recently approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission, Ronnie Nichols, director of operations, says there will be a slight increase in electricity costs.

Natural gas usage is down, saving the school system over $50,000. “We are extremely pleased with the natural gas conversion at the high school. I think we will reap some significant benefits from that,” said Nichols.

Water costs are up $11,000. Nichols said the increase in water usage and costs is attributable to the leak found at Dublin Elementary School at the line between the school and the D.C. Wysor Observatory. That leak caused an increase of nearly 300,000 gallons in water usage. “We think we have finally got (the leak) under control,” he said.

We also found that some of the indoor plumbing under the floor was leaking so we had to replace that as well. I believe there were multiple leaks there that started out very small and went unnoticed,” Nichols said.

It speaks volumes, so to speak, of the topography of the land there that all of that water was lost and none of it came to the surface,” said Vice-Chairman Jeff Bain.

Board member Joe Guthrie said Bain’s point concerned him. “As we look at renovations at Dublin Elementary School we need to be very cautious about that,” he said.

Nichols said before undergoing any expansion he would recommend an extensive site survey to know exactly “what we’re getting into.”

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