MAPS use state funding to audit their energy use

MAPS use state funding to audit their energy use

MARQUETTE — The Marquette Area Public Schools have used state funding to get a better picture of the energy costs racked up by its buildings.

This is the final year the Michigan Energy Office is offering an energy audit program for schools.

Doug Russell is the head of Delta Green, a Marquette-based nonprofit corporation. He approached MAPS superintendent Bill Saunders this fall to see if the district was interested in having a Level 1 energy audit done at no cost.

“It’s not often that we have the opportunity to do that kind of comparative analysis,” Delta Green executive director Doug Russell said. “But because we had an audit done in 2002, we were able to compare building usage from then (un)til today.”

The Level 1 audit found more than two dozen areas in which the school district could save money on its energy bills if it were to make some investments.

“We’re looking at different lighting measures,” Russell said. “Those could be anywhere from interior lighting of gymnasiums to hallways, also to exterior lighting for our parking lots. All those were different measures that were identified through the audit, as well as some heating opportunities, too.”

Russell said that the Marquette Area Public Schools are one of just six or seven districts in Michigan having an audit done through the state program in its final year.