Hudson School District is Energy StarThe Hudson School District has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an Energy Star Leader for improving its energy efficiency by 10 percent as compared to a 2008 baseline.
The Hudson School District has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an Energy Star Leader for improving its energy efficiency by 10 percent as compared to a 2008 baseline.
According to information presented at the November Board of Education meeting, the improved energy efficiency represents a savings of approximately $135,000 per year for the district. It also means the district is doing its part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1,500 metric tons per year, the equivalent of planting more than 350 acres of trees.
The district’s success in improving energy efficiency began when the Board of Education endorsed participation in Wisconsin’s Cooperative Educational Service Agency 10 (CESA 10) energy management service to develop and implement a comprehensive energy management plan.
Phase 1 of the district’s plan included an in-depth assessment of each school building’s energy data, identifying energy savings opportunities, and overseeing improvements. The district’s facilities and grounds staff led by Jim Stejskal and Financial Services Director Tim Erickson along with CESA 10 managers focused on more efficient operation of energy systems and equipment. The plan also included technology improvements spearheaded by Technology Coordinator Nancy Toll that reduced the energy demand across all buildings.
Phase 2 of the district’s plan included raising awareness and encouraging all staff to contribute to lowering energy use. Turning off lights that are not needed, reducing personal “plug-ins,” and turning off electrical equipment when not in use are just some of the changes that staff has made. While the 10 percent improvement is praiseworthy, the district continues to raise the bar and set additional environmentally sustainable goals.
According to Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten, this emphasis on energy conservation was generated through what was learned during the design and construction of River Crest Elementary which is LEED Gold-certified and uses 45 percent less energy than a conventionally constructed building. The superintendent stated, “I commend our staff and Board of Education for making a commitment to preserving our environment and its resources. The district is becoming a better energy consumer and role model for our students as they expand their own knowledge and skills related to HSD 2025 graduate learner outcome of Environmental Sustainability. As a bonus our taxpayers benefit from the reduced cost of energy in the district budget.”
Energy Star was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products, new homes and commercial and industrial buildings.