Local Universities Save Big in Utility Costs This Holiday

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Officials with Tallahassee Community College are sending staff members home come December 21, a week off with pay, and it means huge savings for the school.

"We have more than one million square feet of buildings to heat and cool. When we can save that money with the rising utility costs, the savings are great," says TCC President Bill Law.

Officials with Florida State University are also sending staff home with paid leave as they've done for some time now.

"The first year we did this was two years ago and we saved about $100,000. We project this year to save something on the order of $140,000," says FSU Associate Vice President of Facilities Dennis Bailey.

"About 75 percent of our bill is actually for electricity, which is used of course for lighting the buildings and for the air conditioning of buildings. We also use natural gas for the heating and the development of steam and to serve the science buildings," says Alan Peck, Director of Utilities at FSU.

Bailey says the time also allows for crews and contractors to work around the clock to continue major projects, those difficult to do whenever staff members are working on their normal jobs.

A spokesperson for Florida A&M University says staff members there are heading home with paid leave, while full time administrative staff with Valdosta State University are taking a week long paid leave as well.