CLEAR WATER (WQOW) — Summer school programs began on June 13 for the Eau Claire area school district. Their participation in an energy conservation program saves them money and has the potential to impact summer programs on the hottest days of the season.
ECASD has been part of an energy savings program with Xcel Energy since 1995. School district officials tell us the program has helped them save about $170,000 on average in recent years.
Participation in the program means that the school district will stop at a predetermined level of energy consumption on peak days.
“When a normal school building is open, we’ve already gone through and figured out what needs to be closed or what needs to be turned off,” explained Jeff Nestor, facilities planning manager for the school district. “It’s not strictly based on how much energy we’re using at the time, it’s strictly based on what we need to do to get down to that predetermined level.”
June 14 carries the risk of an energy emergency, and because it falls on an even calendar day, Xcel Energy may require the district to reduce its energy consumption to the point where buildings in the district would have to close.
If this happens, parents will be notified of the exact canceled programs for the day, in the same way they would be notified of snow days in winter. Afternoon programs like indoor sports camps would be most at risk, as the hottest part of the day will have a lot of air conditioning cranking.
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