Wappingers Central School District located in the Hudson Valley in New York covers 128 square miles and educates 12,500 students in 15 school buildings. One building is leased, and the other 14 represent approximately 1,377,000 square feet of floor space that is being monitored for energy consumption. The district mission is to prepare humane critical thinkers, decision-makers, and problem solvers with the goal of preparing students to deal effectively with all of life's challenges in order to live successfully and happily. Wappingers Central School District views energy efficiency as both an opportunity to teach students and community members the benefits of environmental responsibility and also as a way to reduce district operating costs. As a result of wanting to make environmental protection a priority and a way of saving budget dollars, Wappingers Central School District initiated an energy conservation program that has two main goals: Maintaining comfort and safety in occupied areas and eliminating energy waste on all levels. In doing so, the district has saved valuable resources, met energy goals, and ensured that all staff and students are learning to be good stewards of the environment.
Wappingers Central School District has been recognized by EPA as an ENERGY STAR Leaders Top Performer for achieving a portfolio-wide energy performance rating of 84. The district has reduced its annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1,600 metric tons, the equivalent of planting more than 375 acres of trees every year! On a cost savings basis, this represents approximately $730,000 in avoided costs. The district's successes were achieved through strategic implementation of the energy efficiency program which focuses on a transformational energy management process intended to create district-wide behavioral and organizational change that increases energy efficiency without the purchase of new equipment. In addition to the energy management program, Wappingers Central School District has begun replacing very old boilers with more efficient models and working to gain control of older building systems in order to create a healthier, more comfortable student environment, as well as minimize the waste of energy from systems that are no longer working properly.