The Hilliard City School District recently received a check for $111,622.42 from AEP Ohio for energy-efficiency incentives. According to the district, the check is the largest AEP has presented to a school district.

The Hilliard City School District recently received a check for $111,622.42 from AEP Ohio for energy-efficiency incentives. According to the district, the check is the largest AEP has presented to a school district.

The check represents savings from 31 projects, including:

• Replacing a 40-ton chiller at Scioto Darby Elementary School.

• Installing occupancy lighting sensors in the gyms and some cafeterias.

• Installing parking lot lighting retrofits for inductive lamps (to be completed this year).

The district said it will reduce its electrical consumption by 728,000 kilowatts per year due to the enhancements, an annual savings of $58,242.64.

Jeff Franklin, business director for the district, said it has received some more money from AEP since the check presentation, bringing the total to $113,978.22.

He said another project was replacing boilers in the middle schools. "If you think of your grandmother's house and you have a furnace in there that took up most of the basement, it worked at about 60 percent (efficiency)," he said. "The new boiler systems out there are a much smaller footprint, and they operate at 98-99 percent efficiency. They were coming towards the end of their life, and by taking advantage of this and swapping them out for more energy-compliant equipment, we'll receive a benefit in usage but also an incentive for doing those things."

With lower gas and electric bills, "we can take this money and put it directly back in the classrooms," Franklin said.

Hilliard-based mechanical contractor Bruner Corporation helped the district apply for the AEP Ohio's gridSMART rebates. Stephanie Drenten, an energy engineer for Bruner, said she works with other school districts to get rebates for their energy efficiency projects. A Hilliard resident and graduate of Hilliard schools, she has noticed the energy enhancements firsthand.

"Over the Hollyfest, I went into Davidson and saw all of their new lighting, and it was quite nice," Drenten said.

All 22 gymnasiums had more efficient T8 fluorescent lights installed. The old T12 fluorescent bulbs will no longer be manufactured after July, said AEP spokeswoman Shelly Haugh. "We have an incentive for those customers who are switching out their lights," Haugh said. "A lot of our incentives are around lighting, but we also have incentives for things like motors and high-frequency drives, all types of industrial applications. We even have a program that allows a customer to look back up to three years for something they have done and not realized they were eligible for."

Haugh said the incentives are available to any business. For more information, visit www.aepohio.com and click on the "Save Money & Energy" tab.