Snohomish School District Saves the Enviroment


The School Board receiving a check from the PUD.

Sam Ketchem, Staff Writer

Snohomish School District saved a lot of money last year, and the way they did it helps the environment too. The district has saved 297,507 kW because of new energy saving methods and systems they have introduced. Not only did they save money on the electricity bills, but the PUD also gave the schools $49,421.69 in incentives for their energy efficiency. Since 2011, we have saved a whopping $882,468.77. They have reduced the electricity-operating budget by 20%. All of these savings were put into increasing the quality of education for students. Additionally, the energy savings help our local environment stay clean and healthy.

On March 8, the board talked about all of the new initiatives that are being put into effect. The district has implemented 37 new lighting projects, everything from upgrading old bulbs to new LED’s or reducing the time extra heating systems are turned on. One of the biggest improvements that have been made are the solar panels that were installed at Machias and Riverview Elementary schools. On average, these panels have added 101,000 kW per year to the school’s power grid. All though some people say that solar panels are not needed and waste money, the management team says that’s not true.

“Think about it this way, the capital pot or the operations cost pot. We prefer to reduce our monthly spending and pay for it up front rather than having less money to spend every month,” the committee said.

They have big plans for the future too. They are debating whether or not to look into using geothermal sources to heat and power schools. Many other districts state and nationwide have done this already. District employees are also planning to hold forums at schools to have a conversation with students and staff about the balance between being comfortable in class and doing what’s good for the environment.

“Above all, I want to make sure the kids and staff are comfortable,” the board said.