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Manteca Unified cuts PG&E bill by $1.4M
The solar panels at Sequoia School. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

The sun shaved $1.4 million off the Manteca Unified electricity bill during the first full year that solar panels were in place at 25 campuses and the district office complex.

Without solar, the PG&E electricity bill for the 2013-14 school year would have been $2,172,790.46 instead of $773,468.82. It reflects a savings of 64.42 percent. Part of the savings goes to cover the cost of the $32 million project. The rest goes to the general fund.

District savings will continue to increase whenever PG&E rate hikes are approved. Also when the solar installation is paid off savings will soar.

When the project was started in 2012 the conservative projection called for $48 million in district savings over 25 years.

Lathrop High led the district in savings with nearly $180,000 in PG&E costs avoided. Sierra High was next with just under $150,000 in savings followed by Weston Ranch High at about $130,000.

The District office complex that includes central refrigeration warehouses for nutrition services came in at about $125,000.

The biggest cost savings amount among elementary campuses occurred at Widmer School with a savings of under $60,000.