AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals“We don’t need to spend that much,” said Thompson, who monitors 32 sites, including 28 elementary and secondary schools. “We only use the resources when we need them. It really makes a difference. You have to realize what you pay at home, the district is paying, too.” The former Santa Susana High School principal tracks energy consumption and calculates savings regularly, using computer software. He also trains district employees to be more energy-efficient. Simi Unified has two years left on the four-year contract and pays about $28,600 a month for the services, which include workshops and additional training. Funding comes out of the district’s existing utility budget, with savings projected to pay for the program. Energy Education Inc. estimates $6 million to $7 million in savings over seven years, and so far the district is on track, said Lowell Schultze, associate superintendent of business and facilities. “The program takes a while to take effect,” he said. “It’s changing the way people do things.” [email protected] (805) 583-7604160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SIMI VALLEY – More than a year after the school district implemented an energy program to cut back on utility costs, officials say they have passed the $1 million mark in savings. The Simi Valley Unified School District, which spends $5 million on utility bills every year, began efforts to eliminate energy waste amid budget cuts, said Robert Thompson, the district’s so-called energy czar. Thompson was named energy manager just before December 2004, when the district first rolled out the conservation program run by Energy Education Inc., a Texas-based energy-management consulting firm. By making small changes – turning off the lights in empty rooms, shutting down unused computers, getting rid of personal refrigerators and better regulating temperature – the schools have netted a savings of $1.15 million, a 22 percent drop in use. The goal was to reduce energy consumption by 10 percent.