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MADISON, Ala. –  The Madison City Schools system is saving hundreds of thousands of dollars by being more conservative when it comes to energy use.

Now, they are going head to head with other businesses and organizations around Madison County to see just how much they can save on energy.

“It’s a voluntary effort where organizations and businesses from around north Alabama are committing to energy efficiency,” said Daniel Tait, CEO of Energy Alabama.

The schools will add to the existing 20-million square feet that is part of the challenge.

The goal is to save energy costs to be able to use that money in the classroom, to hire teachers and things that matter most to taxpayers.

“We have to give Madison City Schools a lot of credit because they joined the challenge and they are committing to a 20 percent reduction within the next 10 years,” said Tait.

The district has saved at least $130,000 so far in energy costs. Discovery Middle is one of the schools saving thousands, thanks to its energy star certification since May of this year.

Motion detection sinks, toilets and lights are all a part of cutting the costs.