Judson ISD turns efficiency into money
A few years back, Judson ISD alloted for $3.8 million in energy costs. It was a number that district leaders knew they could cut into. Lee Raspberry, Judson ISD’s energy manager, stepped in to create a greener and cheaper scenario for the district.
“I have a responsibility to the taxpayers in the district, almost as if they’re shareholders,” said Raspberry. “There’s not this huge bucket of energy we can go get anytime we want it, so we have to be the best steward of our natural resources.”
So Raspberry enrolled the district in a CPS initiative called the Demand Response Program over the past two summers. It calls on major energy users to cut back when asked, and if they do, they receive cash incentives.
“Our committed load reduction, for this year, for 11 schools, is 2,340 kw,” said Raspberry.
To put that into layman’s terms, the district, on average, saves enough to run about 125 homes for a day according to Raspberry. Last year, CPS paid Judson ISD close to $45,000 in incentives. This year, the utility will fork out $102,000. The district ranks as the most energy-efficient in the program.
The money goes back into many of the schools to retrofit lights and make them even greener. At Judson Middle School, some of that money will be used to create a solar center in the school’s courtyard. The solar center will be used not only to generate energy, but as a tool to teach students about green energy.
Many of the lights in Judson ISD schools have also been changed over from fluorescent to LED, which the districts says will save even more money through the school year.