High school gets into hot water - efficiently
Solar heating system will be installed this summer
Greendale — High School will soon start using the power of the sun to heat the building's domestic hot water system and pool.
This summer, Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls will install a solar thermal heating system, comprised of 15 glazed panels to supplement the hot water and 32 solar collectors for the pool.
According to a news release, GHS will be the first high school in the state to have such a system.
"Installing this renewable technology at GHS is both a fiscally and environmentally responsible solution to heating the school's water source," Superintendent William Hughes said in a news release.
Grants and incentives from We Energies and Wisconsin's Focus on Energy program will fund more than half of the cost. Combined, grants will pay for about $72,600 of the cost for the two systems, with the district paying a total of about $50,000.
Officials estimate the district will save about $8,100 on energy each year.
"I'm just excited to save some energy and money that can be used for other district needs," said Brian Koffarnus, director of food service and buildings and grounds.
Officials are also excited from an education standpoint. In addition to the cost savings and environmental impact, the district plans to use the system to teach students about renewable energy.
Other energy savings
In view of a tight budget and rising energy costs, the Greendale School District has already made an array of operational and physical changes to cut energy usage.
Some of the changes include setting thermostats at 68 degrees during the day and 55 degrees at night, limiting building usage during holiday breaks and banning portable space heaters.
The district saved about $78,000 in energy costs last year, according to a January report to School Board members.
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