School district receives statewide energy award
Topeka — The Tonganoxie school district Wednesday received an award from Gov. Mark Parkinson for its energy efficiency program.
“It’s a great honor,” said Tonganoxie school Supt. Kyle Hayden, who received the award on behalf of the district during the 10th annual Kansas Wind and Renewable Energy Conference.
The Governor’s Energy Achievement Recognition award was given for an energy efficiency program during which the district contracted with Trane for an energy audit. The audit found ways to save energy costs through overhauling the district’s buildings to make them more energy efficient, and even helped produce more efficient bus routes.
The contract also developed an energy curriculum for sixth-graders -- called the BTU Crew -- who learn about ways to be more efficient with energy and about career opportunities in the energy sector. The students visited last spring with Parkinson and spoke with the governor about energy issues.
The $2.1 million contract with Trane will pay for itself over time because the district is saving $217,000 a year in energy costs, a 27 percent reduction in energy use, officials said.
“It has been more than expected,” Hayden said.
Hayden said the district started looking at its energy costs when the economy soured and state revenues started drying up.
Four awards were handed out by Parkinson, and Tonganoxie schools won the award in the energy efficiency, non-profit category.
“It is inspiring to witness Kansans taking the initiative to capture our state's renewable energy potential,” said Parkinson. “These award winners understand the economic and environmental benefits of investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and I thank them for their leadership.”