Officials turn to audit following spike

REGION 16 — The Region 16 Board of Education last week approved a $34,000 contract with Sarraco Mechanical Services to conduct an energy audit at Woodland Regional High School to try and get to the bottom of a spike in electricity usage.

Director of Finance and Business Operations Pamela Mangini said electricity usage at the high school jumped 30 percent from the 2015-16 school year to the 2016-17 school year. The cost increased about 23 percent from $235,000 in 2015-16 to about $290,000 last school year. The cost increase is less than the usage increase because the district, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, locked in a rate, she said.

Electricity usage remains high at Woodland. By having the audit done, officials are hoping to pinpoint the reasons behind the spike and fix them with recommendations for physical improvements from the audit. If the district moves forward with at least some of the recommendations in the audit, the region will be reimbursed 50 percent of the cost of the audit, about $17,000, through the Energize Connecticut initiative, officials said.