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School system gets check from TVA for energy efficiency

power tower_rgbOXFORD — Energy-efficiency efforts by the Oxford School District will put $44,439.60 back into school classrooms, where Superintendent Brian Harvey says it belongs.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) recently presented school district officials with a check for energy-efficiency improvements made over the past year, specifically for energy saving costs related to the construction of the new Oxford High School building.

“It was important to us on the front end to design a school that is energy-efficient so that we wouldn’t be spending more and more money on utility bills, and we could help out our local community,” said Harvey. “We see it as a moral responsibility to take care of the things that have been given to us as well as a fiscal responsibility to our community. Plus, we are able to put more of the money saved back into the classrooms for the students who deserve it.”

David Sparks, TVA sales and marketing manager, says that the savings is a rebate determined by TVA and energy partners, the Oxford Electric Department and North East Power Electric. TVA pays 10 cents a kilowatt hour on first year energy savings calculated on the building metrics, or money saved from building design elements.

“It’s the design elements that make the savings possible: from the efficient lighting system of the school to the little bit extra they paid up front to make it the energy-efficient building it is today,” said Sparks. “Even though there was more paid up front, in the long run, the school saves money every day, every year, every week.”

Two years ago Oxford schools updated lighting in all schools and participated in the Green School Program, a TVA pilot program in which the school district blazed the trail as a community partner leader. These efforts jumpstarted the school’s efforts to become more active in its energy saving efforts.

As part of the check presentation, TVA recognized the City of Oxford for supporting energy-efficiency efforts in the community by presenting a plaque to Oxford Mayor Pat Patterson.

Patterson added, “Great communities have great schools, and we are proud to be a partner in this initiative.”

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