Penn-Trafford officials to look into energy-savings proposal
Penn-Trafford officials have done preliminary research into a potential energy-conservation contract and said they want to get savings estimates from a district of a similar size.
James Bracco, the district's director of facilities maintenance, said officials at Mt. Lebanon, South Butler and Blue Mountain school districts reported having a good experience with Texas-based Energy Education but those officials told Bracco there are some growing pains involved in getting employees to buy in and change habits.
The vice president of Energy Education last week told P-T school board members the district might be able to save $3 million in energy costs over a 10-year period.
Bracco said the three districts reported that some of the savings came through changes like minimizing lighting in buildings and shutting off kitchen appliances and computers when they're not in use.
“There's a lot of areas that we can improve on, just common-sense things,” Bracco said.
The firm's hourlong pitch last week focused on helping Penn-Trafford train a district employee to serve as an energy specialist to identify waste in energy usage and providing skilled technicians to counsel the district on utility maintenance.
Penn-Trafford wouldn't pay any fees to the firm if the district doesn't save any money.
Superintendent Tom Butler said administrators will determine if there is a comparable district participating in the program that would allow school board members to tour their buildings.
District administrators will research bond rates so the school board can consider whether to borrow money for a possible building project.
Board members on Oct. 8 voted 8-0, with Bruce Newell absent, to have business manager Brett Lago examine borrowing options.
Lago has said interest rates for a $10-million bond could be less than 2 percent. He will determine how much the district could borrow without going above the $2.7 million in annual debt payments Penn-Trafford is paying now.
The school board has moved its next workshop meeting on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. to the Level Green Elementary School library.
Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8671 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.