The Camp Verde Unified School District is moving forward with a plan to embrace energy efficiency.
The school board last week gave the green light to APS Energy Services to conduct an energy audit of the school district’s buildings to see where the district could save money.
APS Energy Services is owned by the same parent company as APS the power company, but is a separate entity with no direct relationship with the power company.
The company will send in experts to examine every square foot of every classroom, office and storage room, said company spokesman Todd Becker, looking for places where the district is bleeding energy costs.
Becker said the audit could cost anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 to cover the quarter-million square feet or so of school property, but the school district wouldn’t pay a cent out of pocket if it follows through with the audit’s recommendations.
Whether the school district improves insulation or just switches light bulbs, the district will save money when it comes to energy costs, Becker said. That doesn’t mean that the district would have extra money to spend on anything else at first.
Any energy savings would likely be put into paying off the bill for making the improvements suggested by the audit, Becker said — something that could take anywhere from 15 to 20 years, depending on how much work needs to be done.
Still, Becker said that APS was planning a 10 percent cost increase in 2010; the district would still save money with more energy-efficient buildings.
Becker painted his company’s services as an educational service.
“I help save the world a little bit every day,” Becker said. He claimed that making the district’s buildings more energy efficient would help teach students about the importance of conservation.
Board member Rick Anderson said he supported the audit, but wanted to make sure that local contractors were given a fair shake at doing the work spelled out by the audit.
Becker said that local companies would certainly have a chance, but state laws might require opening bidding for work to contractors across the state.