An energy savings program at Eastern Kentucky schools including Johnson County has found so much success it will be presented at a global energy conference in Washington, D.C. in September.

Terry V. Salyer, energy service director and energy manager for schools in Johnson, Magoffin and Martin counties, rolled out a “Juice Krew” in addition to infrastructure changes, saving schools across the region approximately $5 million in just the first eight years.

“That’s money saved that no longer has to come out of their general funds, and can go into other projects,” Salyer said.

The updates to Johnson County Schools, completed last year, included switching to modern low-energy LED lighting and the replacement of inefficient boilers. The program also includes the appointment of a “Juice Krew,” a student

organization that checks up on unnecessary energy consumption and spurs what Salyer calls a shift in the culture around energy use.

Salyer said the school principals and administrators have been great about embracing the program alongside their students.

“The big thing is the students, and the faculty, have really bought into it,” Salyer said. “And the kids are able to take home what they learn and apply it there.”

The impact has been great enough to catch the attention of the Association of Energy Engineers, who have asked Salyer to publish and present his findings at their world conference.

Part of that presentation, Salyer said, will be explaining how the same principles can be adapted to save energy (and save money) for businesses, municipal governments, nonprofits and anyone else with an electricity bill.

The AEE world conference will be held Sept. 25-27 in Washington, D.C.

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