By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT – House Majority Leader Leader Rocky Adkins touted Rosa Parks Elementary School in Lexington Thursday in promoting his legislation to make schools more energy efficient.
At a Capitol news conference, Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, unveiled his “Kentucky Green Schools Initiative” that would allow schools to tap into a $50 million bond pool previously authorized to apply for loans for energy conservation measures such as new insulation and weather stripping.
A Kentucky Green Schools Authority made up of various state officials and a representative from the Kentucky School Boards Association would oversee the bond pool.
The loans would be repaid out of energy savings, Adkins said, adding that energy audit teams would help school districts realize their goal of realizing at least a 25 percent savings in their energy costs.
Seven students from Rosa Parks Elementary participated in Adkins’ news conference.
Fifth-grader Adam Telech Bush said students at Rosa Parks have emphasized turning lights off in empty rooms, putting energy check lists on classroom doors, shutting down computers at night and setting up energy patrols “to make sure lights are out and cars aren’t kept running in the parking lot.”
Principal Leslie Thomas said the school with 765 students has cut its energy consumption by 47 percent in one year at a savings of $52,000.
“Rosa Parks is an excellent example of what we are trying to do,” Adkins said.
Adkins’ legislation also would allow small- and medium-sized manufacturers to use $30 million worth of industrial revenue bonds issued by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority to develop energy management plans.
The bonds would be repaid by the manufacturer through energy cost savings.
Another provision of Adkins’ legislation would instruct the state Department of Energy to provide to local governments and housing authorities to achieve greater energy efficiencies in their buildings.