WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Additional funding is on the way for school districts across Rhode Island to help them reduce energy costs.
State leaders announced Friday another $10 million has been secured for the Public School Energy Equity Program, bringing the total budget to $20 million.
Officials said the funding will allow schools to install building automation systems and upgrade their lighting, ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems.
Gov. Dan McKee said the money will help give students and teachers a better learning environment.
“Studies show that more comfortable classrooms lead to higher test scores,” he said.
The Rhode Island Department of Education also found in a 2017 study that by reducing energy consumption in schools, nearly $34 million could be saved statewide each year.
“Not only is it going to improve the quality of life for students, but it’ll save money for every city and town we can apply these funds too,” said U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, who helped secure the funding. “We’re really talking about some infrastructure built in the 1950s, or even before, so they were not thinking about efficiency and new techniques.”
Ten eligible schools have already completed projects, officials said. With another $10 million on the way, they’re hoping to expand to other eligible schools throughout the state.