Independent School District (ISD) 197 educates 4,600 students in eight school sites in the Twin Cities metro area. The district partnered with the Schools for Energy EfficiencyTM (SEE) program from 2003-2007 to help reduce energy-related expenses. Using an approach of combining operations and awareness, students and staff have acted proactively by monitoring energy use and turning off lights and computers. The building managers have made tremendous strides by monitoring each building's use of heating, cooling, water, and electricity. In October 2007, the school district launched the LIVEGREEN program, an original energy efficiency program that includes energy efficiency strategies as well as recycling and composting programs.
Independent School District 197 has earned ENERGY STAR Leaders Top Performer recognition for achieving an average energy performance rating of 93, up from its previous Top Performer recognition level of 81. The district has also been recognized by EPA for increasing its energy efficiency by 10 percent in 2005, 20 percent in 2010, and 30 percent in 2010. Since launching its energy efficiency program in September 2003, the district has avoided more than $1.4 million in energy costs and avoided annual greenhouse gas emissions of nearly 2,000 metric tons, the equivalent of planting more than 450 acres of trees. One of the district's schools has also earned the ENERGY STAR for superior energy performance.