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Norwin acknowledged for its energy-saving efforts

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By Amanda Dolasinski
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Switching off lights and powering down copy machines over weekends has saved the Norwin School District a little more than $500,000 over the past two years.

Through conservation efforts, the district reports, it has been able to cut its energy spending by 22 percent. Cenergistic, an energy conservation company based in Dallas, honored the district on Monday night with the Award for Energy Stewardship.

“It's a wonderful savings to your school district,” Tim McNamee, of Cenergistic and the EPA Energy Star program, said. “You're quickly getting up to 30 percent savings.”

The award comes following the district's participation in an energy conservation program administered through Cenergistic. The program is based on changes in employee behavior, such as turning off lights and machines when they're not needed.

Over the past 25 months, costs for electricity, gas, water and sewer services in the district dropped from about $2.4 million to $1.8 million. That's about $523,300 in savings.

McNamee also noted the program has helped the district reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions it releases, also known as a carbon footprint.

Though the program, the district has saved 3,946 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions — equivalent to removing 708 automobiles from the roadway or planting 100,937 pine trees over 10 years, he said.

Christopher Baker, supervisor of energy conservation and custodial services for the district, praised employees for their improvements in energy conservation.

“We're not going to use the energy unless we need to,” Baker said. “For example, when students are not at school, we don't use the air conditioning.”

Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or adolasinski@tribweb.

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