Texas Funds El Paso Schools for Efficiency

March 24, 2003

Photo of the Texas Comptroller holding up a report at a press conference.
Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn recommends Texas schools receive energy audits offered by the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO). (Credit: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts)

Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn announced on March 6th an energy efficiency loan to the El Paso Independent School District that will save more than $60,000 per year in energy costs. The loan is in the amount of $444,075 and will be used to install high-efficiency lighting in schools throughout the district. The loan will pay for itself in about seven years, and El Paso will reap the savings from the lighting for many years thereafter.

The loan is funded through Texas LoanSTAR—Saving Taxes and Resources—sponsored by the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO), a division of the Comptroller's office. LoanSTAR provides low-interest loans to public entities in the state, such as school districts, counties, and cities, to increase the energy efficiency in their buildings and facilities. SECO monitors the costs savings and provides energy audits for schools to identify areas of potential savings.

Since its inception in 1989, the loan program has distributed more than $163 million in loans to 142 public institutions. So far, SECO estimates that the program has saved Texas more than $123 million in energy costs, and savings grow every year. Over the next 20 years, SECO estimates that Texas LoanSTAR will save state taxpayers $500 million.

SECO's involvement in the loan program is partially funded by DOE's State Energy Program (SEP) and included in the state's SEP plan.

"Energy conservation programs like LoanSTAR are important economic tools for Texans," Strayhorn said. "When we encourage the efficient use of energy, we save tax dollars and help preserve our natural resources." For more details about the El Paso loan, see the Texas Comptroller's news release.