Fayette schools saved $700,000 on energy since last summer, consultant says

A new sustainability initiative has saved Fayette County Public Schools about $700,000 in energy costs since its inception last summer.

Sustainability consultant Scott Smith told the Fayette County Board of Education at its planning meeting Monday night that the total represents annual and one-time savings, including:

■ About $200,000 in annual savings resulting from intervention to get the schools a better deal in Kentucky Utilities' rate-increase case before the state Public Service Commission last year.

■ About $300,000 in negotiated annual savings on the district's natural gas contract with MXenergy.

■ About $100,000 in one-time savings on electrical hookups for the new Locust Trace Agriscience Farm.

■ About $60,000 by ensuring that all schools entitled to cheaper "all-electric" rates are actually getting them.

Smith said more savings are expected as the district continues to develop an overall sustainability plan to eliminate energy waste and promote efficiency in all schools.

In other matters, board members elected John Price as their chairman for the next two years. Price has been serving on an interim basis since former chairwoman Beck Sagan's recent resignation. Melissa Bacon, who has been serving as interim vice chairwoman, was named to a two-year term.