VALLEJO (CBS13) – Administrators at local school district say they saved $2 million in three years just by conserving energy.
Pennycook Elemetary and 29 other Vallejo City Unified schools were recently honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for efficiency without spending a single dollar.
“This is just a statement as to what has been accomplished and that we are leaders,” Assistant Superintendent Melvin Jordan said.
In just three years, Jordan says the district has saved $2 million with simple solutions such as turning off the lights in empty classrooms, or keeping just some on in the hallways.
It’s the same for computers: unless a student needs them, they stay off.
“It’s nothing really magical other than changing the way you behave on a daily basis,” he said.
Another idea the district has is when students are out on break, they unplug the refrigerators in the cafeteria for even more cost savings.
During holiday breaks, entire schools, including air conditioning units, are powered down.
“I think it is making a big change in the world,” Pennycook student Chris Atkins said.
Students like Chris are a huge part of saving energy at school, and the simple ideas to think green go beyond the classroom and into these students everyday lives.
“Every time I leave I turn off the lights in my house,” he said.
They have saved money at Pennycook, but the district says there are even more savings at the larger middle and high schools.