Energy Savings in Thomas County

A little over a week ago, Thomas County's budget hearings presented some very startling news. They must tap into reserve funds to balance next year's budget, but county officials have a plan.

To help with Thomas County's budget, a few department heads have put together a plan to conserve energy and fuel.

Lyndall Knight, the building maintenance director in Thomas County, says many county employees have no idea how much money is being spent on utilities.

Knight says, "They all got a large shock because some of them had been here long-term and had never had an idea what their utilities bills were going."

In an effort to inform employees, county officials have put together pamphlets. They include simple tips like flipping off a light switch and ways to conserve gas.

Donnie Bagett, the county equipment shop manager, says, "Right now we're trying to work on conserving fuel every way we can, trying to slow our trucks down, eliminate idle time."

Bagett says he knows first-hand how expensive fuel can be. He sees a drastic change between January of this year and now. He says it's because of the hurricanes.

Bagett adds, "The prices escalating, the fuel consumption hadn't gone up that much, just the prices."

Both Bagett and Knight agree getting conservation information to their employees is the first step in staying within budget.

Thomas County officials say money saved from this conservation plan means Thomas County residents will feel the savings in their taxes.