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West Warwick schools become more energy efficient

April 30, 2012

WEST WARWICK — Director of Property Services, Ken Townsend, has been making the various schools throughout West Warwick more energy efficient as a way to save the school district money.

He explained that dating back to 2007 he began upgrading the boilers at Maisie Quinn Elementary School and John F. Horgan Elementary School.

“We took our two large steam boilers out and put in three computerized controlled boilers,” he said.

The way the computerized boilers work are; if the temperature outside is warm enough only one boiler will run compared to all three running.

The computer works with the boilers to determine the temperature though steam pressure.

Townsend explained that all of the projects done to save the school district money are done through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG).

He said that originally the town of West Warwick applied for the money. Unfortunately, the town did not have any projects the money could be used towards.

Townsend said the state came to him asking if the school district had projects that the $190,692,000 grant could go towards.

He said the grants have been used to retrofit the Deering Middle School and West Warwick High School boilers to high efficiency burners, which is also controlled through computers.

“We’ve also been able to change fuels from number two fuel oil to natural gas which that, in itself, is a huge savings,” he said.

Natural gas is approximately $1.50 a gallon compared to $4 a gallon for number two fuel oil.

Townsend explained that because of the changes made at Deering Middle School, there is a projected annual savings of approximately $90,000.

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