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Ossining, Briarcliff Schools Flip Switch on Energy

OSSINING, N.Y. -- The Ossining and Briarcliff school districts are doing the little things to save energy. And not because Earth Day is coming up Saturday, but because it could mean six or seven figure savings for the districts in the future.

Ray Sanchez, deputy superintendent for the Ossining School District , said the schools hired Energy Manager George Mosler to keep track of energy usage at the district but also walk the buildings to ensure that lights and computers are turned off each night.

“He helps gather data on a daily basis and it’s been able to help save us significantly,” Sanchez said, adding that the savings are around six figures. “It’s not just about turning off the switches though, he helps do a lot by working with our grounds director making sure that we’re saving energy across the whole district.”

Sanchez said it was important for the district to keep taking every step it can toward energy conservation.

“We’re always looking for new things that we can do to save energy,” Sanchez said. “We know predominantly with cost savings how much it’s helped the district, but it’s just good environmentally for our community and our whole society.”

Mosler said the job involves regular communication with faculty and staff.

“If you want to save money on energy you have to be consistent,” Mosler said. “It has to be an effort by everyone to do it right. It can't just be one person. Everyone has to get involved.”

While working to propose a $10.5 million bond, the Briarcliff Manor School District’ s Ad Hoc Facilities Committee took an extra step toward energy conservation that could save the school hundreds of thousands of dollars in the near future. That extra step came in the form of an energy conservation sub-committee.

“All of these committees got together to help make great improvements to the district. But unlike the other committees who were proposing things we could do to spend money, we were looking at what we could do to save money,” said Louis Linder, a subcommittee member. “It’s going to be a very significant savings for the district. I think the fact is there are a lot of pollutants that we’re all creating and energy costs are going up. And there are a lot of little and big things we can do to reduce that and see a big savings environmentally.”

Guy Rotondo, president of the Briarcliff Board of Education , said he's been "continually impressed" with what he sees the district doing to save energy.

"I think across the board from the Ad Hoc Facilities Subcommittee on energy to different programs that have been initiated through the board, we're doing a lot to save on energy," Rotondo said. "There was talk about that subcommittee becoming a regular thing that they would present on an annual basis and I think that's a great idea."

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