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Energy policy for Chambersburg schools gaining steam

February 28, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Conserving energy will mean more than turning out the lights when leaving a room under a proposed energy management conservation policy reviewed by the Chambersburg School Board Wednesday night.

The policy, which had its first reading at the meeting, calls for hiring an energy manager to implement the policy, a step the district has already taken, Board President Thomas Orndorf said. About a year ago the district hired a energy consulting firm to train the energy manager, Connie Kelly, Orndorf said.

"With this training, the person can go around and implement energy saving measures around the district," Orndorf said.

"The policy is just going to help us enforce what she does," Superintendent Joseph Padasak said. The consulting firm guaranteed the savings realized will exceed its fees, he said.

School principals are responsible for energy use with energy audits and conversation programs, the policy states. Principals and head custodians will work with the energy manager to ensure efficient energy use.

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The consulting firm is still tabulating the savings the district has realized, Assistant Superintendent Eric Michael said, but preliminary results have been encouraging.

Padasak said some of the measures are as simple as turning off lights and eliminating the use of unnecessary appliances, such as personal microwaves or refrigerators in classrooms.

"I would like to see a commitment to recycling districtwide" included in the policy, said board member Renee Sharpe.

Office paper and some other materials are recycled, Michael said, but what other materials, such as plastics, are recycled is done by the individual schools. Padasak said recycling will be more comprehensive at the high school once its renovation is completed.

The policy also calls for the following:

· All district personnel and students are expected to contribute to energy efficiency and to become energy savers as well as consumers.

· All unnecessary lighting in unoccupied areas will be turned off. Custodians will turn on lights only in areas in which they are working.

· Energy management will become part of a principal's annual evaluation.

· Head custodians "will be responsible for a complete and total shutdown of the facility when closed each evening."

The policy still has to go through a second reading before the board before it is instituted, Orndorf said.

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