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E-M:/ Another good idea

Enviro-Mich message from John Gear <jmgear@acd.net>


TESS NACELEWICZ, PORTLAND PRESS HERALD - He often works in the dark of
night, so students and staff seldom see him. But they know the man
everyone calls "the energy guy" through the notes he leaves behind in
classrooms - gentle reminders that someone forgot to shut down this
computer or switch off that light.

And the impact of what energy manager-educator Bill Donovan does for
school systems is easy to see when the heating and electricity bills
come in. In the four years he's worked part-time for the Topsham-area
school system, energy usage has dropped 24 percent and more than
$600,000 in savings has been realized. Donovan also was hired
part-time by the Freeport schools last December and in less than a
year has helped that district cut usage by 23 percent and save close
to $50,000. . .

Donovan teaches school staff and students to turn off or turn down
computers, lights and other equipment when not in use and to use
natural lighting whenever possible. He also has staff turn down
heating and ventilation systems at night and on weekends and holidays. . .

"We want our kids to be warm and comfortable and we don't want them to
shiver in class or roast," he said. But there still are many ways to
cut back on energy, he says. For example, classroom lights often are
too bright. While an art classroom may require excess lighting, a
regular classroom may need less light or rely on some natural light on
sunny days, says Donovan, who typically works at night to monitor
building temperatures and check that lights and computers are off.


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