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Superintendent Letter

Energy Conservation - January 25, 2010

In New Mexico, most of our electricity comes from the process of burning coal and natural gas. Using less energy means burning less of fossil fuels, which cuts down on pollution, protects our environment - and our health.

These are all big problems, but if we use less energy in our schools, power plants will burn less fossil fuels and cause less pollution. Schools in the U.S. waste huge amounts of energy , which also means they offer many opportunities to conserve and saving energy saves money, too - something that will help any school. The Department of Energy estimates that most schools could save over 25 percent of these high costs by being smart about energy. Look around for ways to save in your school; you'll probably be surprised by the many workable ideas you'll come up with. Some of them might seem simple, but they really do make a difference particularly if they are done school or even district wide. Ask your team, 'are we using and in turn spending this resource wisely?"

Our energy bill for the last year was over $13,000,000.00 million dollars, even a 10% reduction cost would equate to over $1,300,000.00 in savings that could be used for other pressing needs in our district. Our school lighting is estimated to account for as much as 25% of our total electrical costs, Employing some habits at your school, i.e. turning lights off when rooms are unoccupied, setting the sleep mode on computers and monitors and turning all computers off at night, all could have a dramatic impact on every schools bill and in turn the Districts total utility bill.

Having schools in the APS Energy STARS Program is one of the Energy Management tools we use in the District. This program focuses on energy conservation awareness, behavior, and education at 4 key groups at our schools, you the administrators, at least one teacher, their students, and custodians. Schools in the program have put energy conservation into action and receive one third of their savings directly back into their school budget quarterly. Over the last 9 years schools in the Program have received over 1.2 million dollars of real monies back into their schools account to enhance the learning environment capabilities and needs of the school. Last year the 54 schools in the program averaged a 17% savings, which resulted in them receiving over a quarter of a million dollars. I would like to see all schools have a savings of 10 percent savings of energy this year.

This year, I would like a real commitment to reduce energy waste when not needed. Energy conservation is not only important for cost savings; it helps preserve our environment for our students. "if you need it use it, if not, turn it off!" For information on energy conservation at your school contact our Conservation Coordinator at 765-5950 x342 or visit for more ideas and information.

Thanks you for your cooperation!