'Power Ranger' saves DeSoto schools money - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

'Power Ranger' saves DeSoto schools money

By Chip Washington - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - DeSoto County School District officials say the district has saved $1 million with an energy savings program that includes computerized temperature controls.

His real name is Jimmy Avery, but in the DeSoto County School District, he is better known as the Power Ranger. Since coming on board as the district's energy manager two years ago, the county has saved a ton of money.

"The last fiscal year, which is July thru June, we saved $387,000 dollars," Avery said. "This year, for the first eight months this fiscal year, we've saved over $560,000 already."

According to Avery, the energy saving success is due in great part to the leadership at the 22 schools that participate. He sends them a report monthly that shows energy usage.

Avery can monitor the heating, cooling and energy output at nearly every school in the county from a computer in his office. He says doing little things can make a big difference.

"Turning back the thermostats in the classrooms - for the people that have control systems - when they can turn these units off with the control systems during unoccupied hours," he said.

Many schools, like Oak Grove Elementary, have added new lighting and sensors that turn lights off when the room is empty.

Assistant Principal Dan Ray is a believer.

"We've changed, and were not only trying to save for Oak Grove, but to help DeSoto County and all the other schools," Ray said.

"If you turned out the light one hour a day, the savings are phenomenal," Avery added.

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