Schools conserve, save by turning off lights

Nearly $300,000 has been saved annually by turning off the lights in Franklin schools.

Teachers and staff members at Franklin schools were encouraged to turn off lights anytime they left the room for the last two years, which has saved the district more than $290,000 per year since 2013, Franklin director of operations Bill Doty said.

Computers, projectors and monitors are also to be turned off at the end of each day to conserve more energy, Doty said.

The school buildings also have a set temperature for heating and cooling to save additional dollars, Doty said. If the heating system is on, the temperature is set between 68 and 72 degrees, but the air conditioning units are set to 74 degrees, Doty said.

The district hired two auditors, who receive a stipend of $5,000 per year, to randomly check the school buildings every week, Doty said.

The auditors keep tabs of what lights are left on, or if a school is in the right temperature for the heating and cooling system. If one classroom’s lights or monitors are consistently left on or running, the auditor can report that to the district, and the teacher can be encouraged to turn the lights off more often, he said. Custodians also are encouraged to turn off lights if they are left on at the end of the school day.