KISSIMMEE, Fla. - As the warm weather returns, Osceola County schools are raising the thermostat to save on air conditioning costs.
The district said its utility bill was $2 million more than the state average for school districts last year.
The thermostats were previously set at 75 degrees, though some could go as low as 72 degrees. Soon, everyone will be set at 76 degrees.
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The change was first implemented at administrative offices around spring break, said district spokeswoman Dana Schafer. The temperature at all schools will be adjusted over the next few months.
“I'd be comfortable. It's not a big deal for me,” said Gateway High School student Luis Arroyo.
But fellow student Isaiah Simmons worries he’ll have to sweat it out.
“Once you first walk into the classroom you're like, dang it's hot,” said Simmons.
The 76 degree mark is similar to other districts with utility costs close to the state average, Schafer said.
The district’s overall utility costs are around $12 million a year; about half of that covers heating and cooling. The goal is to save between six to eight percent of the overall cost, or up to $960,000. Any savings will depend on Mother Nature.
The district is telling teachers to report any problems with the cooling system so it can send someone down to check it out.
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