Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Independent School District 877 (BHM) is located about 40 miles west of Minnesota's Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. The district educates about 5,700 K-12 students and consists of nine facilities located in the cities of Buffalo, Hanover, and Montrose. An ENERGY STAR partner since 2005, the district's mission is to make a difference by preparing all students for a successful future in a changing world.
BHM has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR Leaders Top Performer for achieving a portfolio-wide average ENERGY STAR score of 85. The district has previously earned ENERGY STAR Leaders recognition for improving its energy performance by 10 percent in 2006 and 20 percent in 2009. This is also the third time the district has earned ENERGY STAR Leaders Top Performer recognition for achieving a portfolio-wide ENERGY STAR score of 75 or better out of a possible 100. This dedication to energy efficiency has enabled the district to save more than $2 million in energy costs since 2004. In 2005, Parkside Elementary became the first school in the district to earn the ENERGY STAR for superior energy performance. Since then, eight schools have achieved this certification. The district has prevented more than 1,100 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere, the equivalent of the emissions from more than 220 cars or planting more than 240 acres of trees. BHM has used a variety of techniques to keep schools operating as efficiently as possible while maintaining an effective learning environment. They include operational and awareness campaigns and training for building operators. The district has also encouraged students and staff to become more aware of their energy use and provides guidance on changing energy behaviors.