A valley school system is looking for ways to go green and save money.
Madison City Schools is considering an agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority that could trim their budget.
Energy costs are one of the largest and most crucial parts of a school system's budget. After all, you can't learn to read in the dark. But keeping the lights and air conditioner on isn't cheap.
"We're doing everything at school that you do at home, except we're doing it for 8,700 kids and 1,000 employees, so it magnifies that," said Dr. Dee Fowler of Madison City Schools.
Madison City Schools is in talks with the TVA to save some money on energy. Maybe even make some money. TVA is offering to pay the school system to cut their power usage on days when power is in high demand.
"This is specifically targeted toward reducing the peak power demand during the summertime. it keeps us from having to build additional plants and the cost of additional plant to meet these peak demands," said TVA Spokesperson Mike Bradley.
They wouldn't cut back energy everyday. The program also would not interrupt normal service when the school system needs it.
"Obviously if it's on a 100-degree day and they say may we cut back on the cooling in your schools? we'd say no. But it may be a day where school is not in session and they want to cut back on the power and obviously it would be in our advantage to say yes," adds Dr. Fowler.
The program is still in the works, but it could be a big help to the budget.
Dr. Fowler says that the program has an opportunity to save us several hundreds of thousands of dollars over several years.
It's also environmentally friendly because it cuts down on energy waste.
"It's a good thing for the environment, good thing for your pocketbook and good thing for energy efficiency," adds Bradley.
TVA says they should save about 47 megawatts this summer from schools and businesses in Alabama. That's enough to power almost 40,000 homes.