ANDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT)-- The county is pumping nearly 10 million dollars into their schools over the next year. It's a pricey project that will pay for itself over time.
Anderson County High School was built in the early 80's when energy conservation wasn't a concern but now in the 21st century it's a top priority.
Russ Nelson from Energy Systems Group said "The plan is two fold; first we want to reduce the schools operating cost mainly dealing with utility expenses and second replace equipment that's past its prime."
Some of the schools have equipment that's 35 years old and are costing more money than they should be.
Eighteen schools in the county will have energy improvements such as new windows, energy efficient lights, and heat pump replacements.
Larry Foster, Director of Anderson County Schools said "We're trying to be proactive, keep school open and operating while saving energy."
Not only are they saving energy but money for tax payers. "We could save about $600,000 or more and that will help pay for the project so it remains tax neutral." said Foster
It's a big investment with an even bigger return that the county will start seeing in a few months.
"We'll start replacing things that have the biggest energy savings starting February 1st and hopefully be done with the majority of the project by August 2014." said Nelson
By the time they are finished the energy savings will be equal to taking 900 cars off the roadways in East Tennessee according to the EPA.