Marshfield Unified School District in Wisconsin educates over 4,000 students in buildings representing approximately 625,000 square feet of floor space. The buildings range in age from six years to over 70 years old. The mission of the district is to provide an environment that cultivates maximum student potential. As a part of providing the best possible school environment for students to learn, the district now makes energy management a priority. The district strives to conserve energy and use the cost savings for technology upgrades, maintenance updates, and general instructional supplies. In partnership with the Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA), Region 10, the district has been able to identify cost savings opportunities and meet their energy goals. The district has been an ENERGY STAR Partner since 2012.
Marshfield Unified School District has been recognized by EPA as an ENERGY STAR Leader for improving the energy efficiency of its facilities by more than 30 percent compared to a 2004 baseline. A large part of the district's success can be attributed to the work ethic of its dedicated Energy Manager, Mike Lipske, who recently passed away. Mr. Lipske began working closely with Marshfield staff members in 2008 to make the existing equipment run as efficiently as possible. He used his expertise to assist staff members on the selection and optimization of energy-efficient equipment by aligning schedules more closely with actual building occupancy and use. Energy managers listened to the needs of the district and used feedback from the building occupants to help implement appropriate energy projects. Boilers, chillers, air handlers, and domestic hot water heaters were adjusted to ensure comfort and improve energy efficiency. The district also installed a new pool cover at the high school, updated lighting in several buildings, and updated the building automation system. In addition to equipment upgrades and improving system efficiencies, staff members implemented behavioral changes such as turning off lights and shutting down computers when not in use. Overall, the district has achieved a successful partnership with CESA 10 and has realized significant energy and cost savings. In the first four years of working with CESA 10's Energy Management Team, the district has averted over $438,000 in energy costs. Compared to its 2004 baseline, the district currently prevents the emissions of more than 1,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by more than 44,300 tree seedlings planted and grown for 10 years.