Heating bills were a major concern for Houston County schools last year. But that's nothing compared to this year.
The cost of home heating oil has increased by 37 percent over the past several months, jumping from $2 to 2.75 per gallon. And county schools may feel the pinch worse than city schools because of limited flexibility in their budgets.
But according to Bryan McGriff, Houston County has done a good job so far to prepare for these expenses. He's not concerned that the city schools have any advantage when it comes to the heating budget.
In the meantime, area schools are taking steps to conserve and efficiently manage utility costs. Ashford High School, for example, is able to conserve utilities by running their heat on an automatic system. The system allows the school to run their heat on a timer, or only when needed.
For more easy ways to conserve energy, visit the Department Of Energy's Web site at www.energysavers.gov.