The School District of Onalaska's mission is to ensure that all students acquire the skills, abilities and attitudes needed to be respectful, responsible and productive citizens in a global society. The district educates almost 3,000 students in five buildings with a total floor space of more than 600,000 square feet. The district views energy efficiency as a means to save money and exercise good stewardship of the earth's resources. Participation in the ENERGY STAR program has provided the district with an excellent program to effectively monitor our progress utilizing up-to-date methods that may be employed on an ongoing basis.
The School District of Onalaska has been recognized by EPA as an ENERGY STAR Top Performer for achieving an average energy performance rating of 91 across its entire portfolio of schools. The school district has reduced annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1,600 metric tons, the equivalent of the annual emissions of more than 300 cars or planting more than 350 acres of trees. Since 2005, the district has avoided energy costs in excess of $600,000, and has channeled these monies back into instructional programs in a time of scarce funding. Some of the methods employed to achieve this increase in energy efficiency involve changing behaviors such as turning off lights when rooms are not occupied and turning off all equipment each night. In addition, The School District of Onalaska shuts off buildings completely over weekends and holidays, and closely monitors heating and air conditioning schedules. The consistent attention to energy efficient practices by the entire staff is the reason for the success of this program.