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Energy program at CISD helps save thousands

By Scott Harvey

Commerce – A major budget shortfall facing the Commerce ISD could be a lot worse if it weren't for an energy conservation program implemented last fall.

For the past six months, Kevin Shaw has acted as the "Energy Czar" for the district, helping to ensure that no energy be wasted.

It seems to be working.

Through a partnership with Energy Education, data shows Commerce ISD has saved nearly $107,000 halfway through the program's first year. That is only $1,000 less than what the district is expected to save through the first year all together ($108,000).

Superintendent Blake Cooper says it's simply a matter of better management of energy use.

"Strictly in better handling of our thermostats; having them go off at certain times," Cooper said. "Turning electricity off, water use, behavior of people, making sure that air conditioner is turned off in the evening and making sure that heater is turned off. It's just management. It's behavior type things."

Over ten years, Commerce ISD projects a $2.8 million savings.

The program uses 3rd party software that the district can enter utility bill data into, which is then compared to a number of items including past and current utility bills and billing cycles, weather patterns and cost increases/decreases in electricity, natural gas and water.