Medicine Hat News

Catholic division says $2.5M investment on energy efficiency was well worth it

SAMANTHA JOHNSON Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education’ secretary treasurer says a major investment to decrease energy consumption within the division is saving more money than expected.

Greg MacPherson presented on Tuesday presented to trustees a report from Johnson Controls on a $2.5-million investment the board made to reduce electricity and gas consumption. The report states MHCBE saved $107,000 throughout 2022-23, much higher than the $17,000 guaranteed savings.

“Not only are we seeing savings on the operational side, but we are demonstrating environmental stewardship as well (by using less fossil fuels),” explained MacPherson. This will be the final measurement Johnson Controls will provide as the division is satisfied they are seeing the savings promised.

Trustee Dick Mastel commented that when the Johnson Controls project was first pitched he was excited but skeptical they were able predict the amount of savings expected. He was also impressed the company guaranteed it would repay if the work didn’t meet expectations.

“We are using less energy, taking carbon out of the atmosphere and providing better conditions for students and staff, a marvellous proj- ect,” concluded Mastel.

Deficit grows

MacPherson also delivered the 2023-24 first-quarter financial update with an end date of Nov. 30, 2023. The division is reporting a $411,000 deficit, which is an increase from the budget of $165,000 but can be absorbed by unrestricted reserves. The year-to-date revenue for the first quarter is 28% of budget, or $10,827,000, which is close to the expected 25% moving into the second quarter.

Base instruction funding increased by $136,516 due to higher enrolment as of the end of September. PUF enrolment is down from 145 children to 114, which resulted in a loss of $114,000, although this is offset by a $33,000 learning loss grant and higher than expected enrolment in Kindergarten, resulting in $51,000 more funding there.

Staffing numbers are 3.58 full-time equivalent higher than budgeted along with $271,000 more required for salaries and benefits. The total average salary within MHCBE is $108,505, a decrease by $1,002 from the budget. Full average salary with pension is also lower than budget by $1,328 at $118,232.





Alberta Newspaper Group