District to look for more ways to cut energy use

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District to look for more ways to cut energy use</a>

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Written by Alex Davis </span>

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Saturday, September 29, 2012 12:00 am </span>

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<p>MIDDLE TOWNSHIP – Since joining a program in 2011 that offers ways to conserve energy, the Middle Township School District has saved more than $340,000.</p>

<p>Earlier this year, school officials unveiled solar panels atop four of its buildings, expected to generate 42 percent of the district’s power.</p>
<p>On Thursday, Sept. 20, the Board of Education approved a $24,595 agreement with Dome-Tech Inc. for an energy audit of the four schools and the administration building.</p>
<p>The district is awaiting results of the energy audit that will detail where energy could be saved, said Scott Webster, energy education specialist for the district.</p>
<p>Dome-Tech Inc. of Middlesex County did walkthroughs of buildings in the district, he said, and looked at everything, including doors and windows.</p>
<p>The district has two elementary schools, middle school, high school and The Performing Arts Center.</p>
<p>The company is compiling data and getting the report ready, Webster said.</p>
<p>The state will reimburse the district for doing the energy audit, said Superintendent Michael Kopakowski.</p>
<p>“It’s a win-win,” Webster said, pointing to benefits with the environment and to the district’s budget.</p>
<p>Webster is the energy education specialist at the school, a position he has held since last year. He also heads the security department.</p>
<p>The district has worked with Energy Education, based in Texas, since April 2011.</p>
<p>Energy Education’s energy program is not solely about shutting off lights and computers, but also about how organizations use and manage energy in the long term. The company has more than 1,200 clients around the country.</p>
<p>Much of the money saved through Energy Education comes from Middle’s high school, Performing Arts Center and middle school, Webster said. They’re the largest buildings in the district, he said.</p>
<p>Earlier this year, the district was recognized for reducing energy waste in its school buildings. Energy Education presented the environmental stewardship award to Webster  and then-business administrator Cherie Ludy. The company bestows the award to its clients for their environmental impact, including cutting down on carbon emissions.</p>
<p>From April 2011 through August Webster said the district have saved more than $340,000, thanks to Energy Education.</p>
<p>The Board of Education has a four-year contract with the company, and when that’s up, the Energy Education will no longer be paid by the district.</p>
<p>In April, the school district unveiled its solar project. Constellation Energy of Maryland owns and maintains the system under a 15-year power-purchase agreement.</p>
<p>The solar panels are on the roofs of the district’s two elementary schools, high school and administration building.</p>
<p>Webster and Kopakowski could not say how much money has been saved from the solar panel project alone. The three projects – Energy Education, solar panels and energy audit – help save money and the environment, Webster said.</p>
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