RISD’s electricity provider, Oncor Energy, recently presented district administrators with a $17,173 rebate check for upgrading the lighting systems at all four high schools: Berkner, JJ Pearce, Richardson and Lake Highlands. The district received another check in 2009 for improving lighting, air conditioning, and roofing efficiency in other district buildings.

The lighting and air conditioning systems installed by RISD crews will save nearly 226,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, which translates into a $26,000 annual savings at the current electric rate. That’s equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions of about 18,400 gallons of gasoline, according to Environmental Protection Agency calculations.