Cleveland City Schools

Logo for Cleveland City Schools Cleveland, Tennessee
20% Improvement (2012)
Top Performer (2012)

Cleveland City Schools, encompassing over 1,000,000 square feet on the rolling hills of southeast Tennessee, is home to approximately 5,100 students and 600 employees. Founded in 1885, the school system has a rich history of academic excellence. The school board and administration for Cleveland City Schools have always maintained a vision for energy efficiency, utilizing energy management software as early as 1993. The school system is a leader in geothermal systems for schools, with four of the districts schools currently using geothermal technology for HVAC systems. The district has been a partner of the ENERGY STAR program since 2010.


Cleveland City Schools has been recognized by EPA as an ENERGY STAR Leader for improving energy efficiency by more than 20 percent compared to a 2009 baseline and as a Top Performer for achieving an average ENERGY STAR energy performance score of 82. In 2009, the district entered into a partnership with Energy Education in an effort to curb escalating energy costs and return more money to the classroom. Under the direction of a part-time energy management specialist, all professional and non-certified staff members, maintenance personnel, and custodial employees now work jointly to conserve energy resources. Cleveland City Schools also made use of state grants and low-interest loans designed specifically for energy conservation to retrofit or replace all lighting in the district with energy-efficient ballasts and lamps. With the support of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the districts local utility company, three schools are sponsoring Greenschools clubs, which enable students to save energy and money for the districts schools and enhance students understanding of energy efficiency.


As a result of these efforts, Cleveland City Schools has avoided over $1,000,000 in energy costs in just over two years. The district prevented the emissions of more than 2,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by more than 66,000 tree seedlings planted and grown for 10 years. The districts goal is to reach 30 percent cost avoidance for its buildings and to continually search for better ways to improve energy efficiency and thus save money to return to the classroom.