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West recognized for program

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By Don Pace

A West Las Vegas school district conservation program drew an environmental stewardship award last week.

During last weeks school board meeting, Daylene Buhl, representing Dallas-based Energy Education Inc., said the district has saved enough electricity in two years to effectively plant more than 18,604 trees.

Im very proud to recognize that West Las Vegas Schools has, to this point in time, saved $262,572 of your energy costs. Thats well over 25 percent of your costs thus far in the program. We anticipate that you will blow the roof off the projections that we have made for you, Buhl said.

In a letter to the board, the companys CEO, William Spears, said the district has demonstrated wise fiscal and environmental stewardship by carrying out the energy conservation program.

Using human resources to reduce energy use saves natural and financial resources for the school district and the community, Spears said in his news release.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that every kilowatt hour of electricity saved prevents the emissions of 1.5 pounds of carbon dioxide, 5.8 grams of sulfur dioxide and 2.5 grams of nitrogen oxides, according to Energy Education.

The company states that in the first two years of the program, West Schools saved 1,148,300 kilowatts, the equivalent of 726 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions being prevented, 157 passenger cars not driven for a year, 82,639 gallons of gasoline, or 18,604 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.

Thomas Paul Trujillo, the districts energy educator and manager, said, Some of our achievements this season includes a $2,000 gas bill reduction for several months in a row at our Don Cecilio site and a $3,400 savings in one month compared to last year at our high school gym.

He said there have been a few bumps in the road, but that school staff is aware of what the district is trying to achieve.

Our goal is to be more aggressive in helping our district save even more money in he near future. If we can become accustomed to being energy wise at work, we can also take these positive behaviors home with us and save money on our own utility bills, Trujillo said.

Superintendent Jim Abreu said, This energy program is an excellent vehicle to assist our district personnel in practicing good stewardship of our resources. The willing participation of virtually every staff person teachers, administrators, food service, maintenance and custodial people adds to our success.

Buhl said her companys alliance with the West school district is a win-win partnership and is funded solely by the savings the program generates. She said clients can redirect more saved energy dollars to educational resources and noted that the company has worked with more than 870 educational organizations across the nation, impacting the educational environment of more than 12 million children and helping its clients save more than $1.4 billion in 21 years.