Madison County school district has saved $5 million by using technology to conserve energy

WAAY 31 got a look at the technology the Madison County school district uses.

Posted: Aug 13, 2019 8:34 PM
Updated: Aug 13, 2019 10:59 PM

With excessive heat warnings this week, we're finding out how school districts in Madison County are conserving energy and saving money.

Officials with Madison County Schools told WAAY 31 it all starts with knowing how energy is being used in every building and every classroom in the district.

When you walk into one specific room at the district's central office, you'll find Operations Supervisor Joseph Cuzzort analyzing data from all schools. The information gathered helps them make the decision to keep air conditioners running 24 hours a day, which actually conserves energy in the long run.

"That building envelope doesn't heat up at night, causing our system to overwork in the morning trying to get it cooled back down," said Cuzzort.

One person can sit at a desk at the central office and with one simple click of a mouse, they can look at every single classroom and air conditioning unit in the district to identify maintenance problems and to make sure the system is running efficiently.

"With that kind of information in this built in to here is how the Madison County Board of Education is saving the $5 million," said Cuzzort.

Those savings are since 2013 when the technology was installed.

Michael Montgomery is a parent and likes the district saving money, but right now, his main concern is his first grader.

"If he's not staying cool, he can't learn. That's very important to my son to get a good education," said Montgomery.

Conserving money on energy goes beyond just the summer months.

"If we were winter time, we would see this side working," said Cuzzort, while pointing at a monitor showing the district's heating system. 

The district is using the savings, "so that we can put that back into the learning area," said Cuzzort.

Both Madison City and Huntsville City school districts told WAAY 31 they have similar systems to make sure they aren't wasting money during excessive heat warnings.

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