OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) -- Oxford School District received a check Wednesday for $126,477 as part of a program offered by the Tennessee Valley Authority and Oxford Electric Department to save energy and money for the schools and enhance students’ understanding of energy efficiency.
The presentation was made during a ceremony at Oxford High School recognizing the school system for its energy efficiency efforts. Attendees included Oxford Mayor Pat Patterson, TVA Board of Directors’ member Richard Howorth and Oxford Schools Superintendent Brian Harvey.
The incentive payment is part of the Energy Right Solutions program offered by TVA and local power distributors which pays qualifying homes, schools, and businesses for taking actions to save energy.
In addition to the energy efficiency incentive presented Wednesday, the school system has saved more than $105,000 on energy costs over the last two years.
The schools’ energy efficiency efforts first began in 2009 through a two-year Green Schools pilot program funded by TVA. When the pilot program ended, Oxford School District joined with Oxford Electric Department to fund a continuation of the energy saving measures.
Some of the energy-saving steps taken at the schools include: exchanging all incandescent light bulbs for CFLs; making sure computer labs have an energy efficient shutdown system; unplugging items that carry a phantom load; removing two lamps in a four-lamp fixture in classrooms, hallways, or cafeterias; using one bank of lighting in classrooms that have split switches; asking teachers to maintain set points for summer and winter temperatures; using only natural lighting in cafeterias, well-lit spaces and classrooms whenever possible; removing duplicate mini-fridges and appliances brought from home; de-lamping vending machines; making sure everything is on a power strip that is turned off at the end of the day; and keeping all doors closed.
According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, lighting and cooling account for 52 percent of electricity use in U.S. kindergarten through high schools. K–12 buildings in the U.S. use an average of 10 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per square foot annually.
In a typical school building, space heating, cooling, and lighting together account for nearly 70 percent of school energy use. Plug loads—such as computers and copiers—constitute one of the top three electricity end uses, after lighting and cooling.