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ENERGY STAR Leaders

Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation

Logo for Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation Mishawaka, Indiana
20% Improvement (2009)
Top Performer (2009)

Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation provides education to 10,600 students in 11 elementary schools, three middle schools and one high school. The district, encompassing approximately 135 square miles, is located in northwest Indiana and serves both suburban and rural areas. Over the years, Penn-Harris-Madison has built a reputation for excellence in education based on high quality academic programs, a strong teaching staff, current technology and excellent facilities.

Penn-Harris-Madison has sought to be a leader in all areas of education and so it was an important part of the district's mission to implement an energy savings program in order to save dollars to educate students and staff about the environmental benefits of energy efficiency. The ENERGY STAR website has been an important part of the program by providing information and ideas that help the district meet its energy efficiency goals.

EPA has recognized Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation as an ENERGY STAR Leaders Top Performer for achieving a portfolio-wide energy performance average of 80.  The district has also earned recognition for achieving 22 percent increase in energy efficiency from a 2006 baseline. This represents an annual savings of approximately $400,000 and an annual CO2 reduction of more than 3,000 metric tons, the equivalent of planting more than 700 acres of trees. Six of the district's schools have earned the ENERGY STAR for superior energy performance.

The success of the program began with support from the superintendent who appointed an energy educator who developed and implemented an energy action plan to increase efficiency. The plan includes turning off computers, lights and other equipment during non-school hours; performing maintenance on heating and cooling systems to provide optimum efficiency; establishing thermostat set points; modifying indoor and outdoor lighting schedules; and purchasing ENERGY STAR qualified equipment as replacement opportunities arise. In addition, a district-wide Energy Committee reviews progress toward conservation goals and brainstorms solutions for improvement. The program has achieved success due to a focus on education, communication and teamwork.