Saddleback Valley Unified School District (SVUSD), located in Southern California, educates more than 31,000 students in 36 school buildings covering approximately 2.5 million square feet of floor space. The district's motto is "Preparing Today's Students for Tomorrow's World." Each year, the district fulfills this mission by adhering to a standards-based curriculum in a supportive, caring and productive environment. In the last two years, SVUSD has worked with Energy Education, Inc., an energy management consultant. This partnership has proven successful in helping the district lower utility costs and reduce its carbon footprint. Participation in the ENERGY STAR program has provided many valuable resources and ideas, enabling the district to meet its energy efficiency goals and to ensure that students and staff are good stewards of the environment.
The US EPA has recognized Saddleback Valley Unified School District as an ENERGY STAR Leaders Top Performer for achieving a portfolio-wide average energy performance rating of 81. In the last year alone, the district has eliminated more than 1,500 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of planting more than 350 acres of trees a year. Saddleback Valley has also avoided $1.6 million in utility costs. The district's successful energy efficiency program began with a commitment by the superintendent and the district's Board of Education. Energy Managers developed and implemented a comprehensive energy management plan involving all staff at every level. Successful energy efficiency measures have included programming AC usage to align with student instruction time, taking advantage of utility company energy-saving programs, auditing school sites for staff compliance, instituting comprehensive shutdowns over holiday breaks and working closely with various departments including Maintenance and Operations, Facilities, Technology and Business Services.