Breaking bad energy habits at Buchanan High School in Clovis

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A local school district is saving millions of dollars by breaking bad energy habits and being a role model to students when it comes to going green. (KFSN)

A local school district is saving millions of dollars by breaking bad energy habits and being a role model to students when it comes to going green.

Buchanan High School in Clovis may look like a normally-built high school on the outside but on the inside it's working with Mother Nature.

Paul Lake teaches energy technology in an energy-efficient classroom. The room has cement-insulated walls, specially designed windows that let in natural light and high tech flooring.

Paul Lake said, "It's not something that a teenager wakes up and thinks in the morning - Oh, how are we going to save energy today? But we do bring it to their attention. We plant seeds."

Clovis Unified School District believes it is leading the way when it comes to being energy efficient and it's not taught to students in the classroom. Administrators say they lead by example.

Stuart Orgen, Energy Coordinator for the district, said, "One of the first things that the district went after is changing behavior because all of our users are also consumers but they can also be conservers of electricity or natural gas."

Clovis Unified started changing its bad energy behaviors back in 2006. They turn lights off in rooms when they're not being used and shut down each laptop when the class is done. The district also retrofitted all 17 of its gymnasiums to have automatic lighting.

Orgen said, "What we did is we replaced them with a fluorescent and it is motion-sensored."

The cost savings paid off, literally. Changing gym lights saves $100,000 a year. Since 2007, Clovis Unified opened up two more schools and still saves money. Officials estimate they save $2,000,000 a year from the changes, plus they have solar panels installed at most school sites. PG&E worked with the district on their energy saving plan.

Denny Boyles, PG&E spokesperson said, "There's the immediate impact from the cost savings but they're also helping educate those students on the importance of energy conservation and their future."

Teaching lessons in energy use in a world that's becoming more technologically advanced plus cost savings that ultimately put more money back in the classroom.



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educationeducationclovis unified school district
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