Students present plan to save school district $58,000 

Four work experience students from Don Ross Secondary in Squamish have presented the Howe Sound School Board with a plan that could save the district $58,000 in energy costs every year.

Guided by Rick Hume, the Howe Sound Director of Facilities and Services, Taija Jagodnik, Danielle Dornik, Jordon Drinovz and Harrison Gould studied what was being heated and cooled in six schools around Squamish and presented their findings.

The study was made possible by B.C. Hydro which offers Power Smart work experience programs around B.C. But according to Hume, Don Ross is the only school in the Howe Sound area that "picked up on it" this year.

After their presentation the chairman of the school board, Doug Hackett, asked the teenagers how they had come to some of their conclusions.

The students pointed out that it was minor actions that made a difference, such as turning computers, lights and fridges off at the end of the day.

But the students also highlighted some incentives that would be costly, such as new thermal windows in schools that still have single pane glass.

Due to some of the costly measures, Hume said the plan would have to be a long-term one that is possibly implemented in stages.

"We could save $58,000 in energy costs but we would have to put $500,000 into the six schools to get that recovery," said Hume.

"But that’s $58,000 every year so it’s a nine year payback plan, which isn’t bad."

The Power Smart program is a two-year work experience program for students in Grades 10, 11 and 12, and was developed by B.C. Hydro in partnership with school districts.

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