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School Districts Achieve Milestones in Energy Program
8/6/2009 10:35 AM

District Energy Team Awardees pictured left to right: Connie Coriell - Bridgewater-Raritan NJ, Mark Eisenbacher- Cambridge/Isanti MN, Lesa Jedlicki – Osseo MN, Wayne Yust – Cambridge/Isanti, Marj Hawkins –St. Cloud MN, Ron Bratlie – Osseo MN, Sue Doering – St. Cloud, Ken Brandel – Rosemount/Apple Valley/Eagan MN, Nancy Johnson – Cambridge/Isanti, Scott Gjesdahl – Rosemount/Apple Valley/Eagan, Carmel Taylor – Austin MN, Eric Hamilton – Buffalo/Hanover/Montrose MN, Sandy Hanson – Buffalo/Hanover/Montrose, Kevin Ordorff – Buffalo/Hanover/Montrose. Not pictured Anne Anderson – Rosemount/Apple Valley/Eagan and Mick Greiner – South Washington County School District MN.
SAINT PAUL, MN (August 5, 2009) -   While schools are struggling to balance their budgets, some districts were planning ahead a few years ago by taking a look at their energy bills as a way to reduce costs. Today, they are being honored for their achievements as they hit certain milestones as part of the Schools for Energy Efficiency® (SEE) program. 

Osseo Area Schools and Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District in Minnesota have already saved over $500,000 on their energy bills after only two years of the SEE program. Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District also hit this milestone in addition to being the first in their state of New Jersey to be named an ENERGY STAR® Leader, a national award for district-wide continuous improvement in efficiency, and having the first ENERGY STAR Labeled school, ranking its operations among the top 25 percent most efficient in the nation.
SEE is a systemized plan created specifically for K-12 schools providing a multi-year approach to energy reduction through operational strategies, behavioral awareness campaigns, and utility tracking reports. Many have proven that a million dollars in energy savings without major infrastructure improvements is feasible. Districts reaching this milestone in 2009 are Cambridge-Isanti School District, Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Schools, St. Cloud Area Schools ($1.5 million), and South Washington County Schools ($2.5 million after 5 years in the program). 

Austin Public Schools in southern Minnesota is the program’s most efficient district using 57.8 kbtu per square foot. During this last year, Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose School District excelled above the rest with a 33 percent reduction in energy use. Early on, this district decided to reinvest some of the money they saved through SEE into more efficient equipment upgrades as well.

An integral part of success is a district champion, referred to as the Energy Efficiency Coordinator (EEC), to lead the efforts of this self-implemented conservation program. The very first EEC of the Year Award was presented to Nancy Johnson from Cambridge-Isanti School District who has helped guide each of their facilities to the 10 percent goal during the course of the program with an average district energy use reduction of 30 percent in their most recent year’s utility tracking data.

“Saving energy is truly important during these tight economic times and sets the tone for an environmentally conscious culture within the student body and community. Congratulations on your achievements.” Joe Hallberg, President of Energy Efficiency Programs, Inc. 

About the SEE Program
Schools for Energy Efficiency is a comprehensive program designed for K-12 schools to save energy and money by changing behavior throughout the district. SEE provides a multi-year plan with awareness materials, training, support, and utility tracking for implementation managed by the school district. SEE was created by Energy Efficiency Programs, Inc. of St. Paul, Minnesota and is available to school districts nation-wide. The SEE program has expanded from Minnesota to Iowa, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and is available to school districts nationwide.

2009 Energy Milestone Awards
$500,000 in Energy Savings
*Osseo Area Schools, MN
*Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District, MN
*Bridgewater-Raritan Schools, NJ

$1,000,000 in Energy Savings
*Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Schools, MN
*Cambridge-Isanti School District, MN

$1,500,000 in Energy Savings
St. Cloud Area Schools, MN

$2,500,000 in Energy Savings
South Washington County School

Most Efficient Energy Use
Austin School District, MN

Greatest Energy Savings in the Past Year (33%)
Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose, MN

Energy Efficiency Coordinator of the Year
Nancy Johnson, Cambridge-Isanti School District, MN