Turning off lights pays off for Franklin schools

During the past four years, the Franklin school district has saved more than $400,000 per year by turning off lights, computers and air conditioning systems when they’re not in use.

Since 2012, Franklin director of operations Bill Doty has tracked the energy used in the school buildings, including the school district’s electric, natural gas, sewer and water systems.

In an effort to save money, the school district hired two energy auditors with a yearly stipend of $5,000 who regularly walk through the school buildings and turn off lights or computers when not in use, Doty said.

If a teacher or administrator forgets to turn off their classroom or office lights, an “oops” sticker is left behind to remind them to keep energy savings in mind, Doty said.

Since Doty has began tracking the energy use, the school district saved more than $336,000 per year compared to what Franklin schools were spending in 2012, Doty said. Due to the mild weather last year, the total savings that Franklin schools recorded was $413,000, he said.

But if the weather conditions were the same as in 2012, the school district saved $336,074 last year, Doty said.