Northfield Public Schools #659
10% Improvement (2010)
Northfield Public Schools #659 in Minnesota educates 3900 students in six school buildings that represent 747,000 square feet of floor space. Northfield ISD 659 views energy efficiency as both an important opportunity to teach students about environmental protection as well as a way to reduce operating costs. As a result, the district strives to improve energy efficiency not only to maximize the funds available for instructional programs and support services but also to educate every student and employee about the environmental benefits of energy efficiency. Participating in the Schools for Energy Efficiency® (SEE) and ENERGY STAR programs has provided Northfield Public Schools with many valuable resources and ideas that have enabled district employees to meet energy goals and to ensure that students are learning to be good stewards of the environment.
Northfield Public Schools #659 has been recognized by EPA as an ENERGY STAR Leader for achieving a portfolio-wide energy efficiency improvement of ten percent. The district has eliminated emissions of more than 900 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of planting more than 200 acres of trees this year alone. On a cost basis, this represents a cost avoidance of approximately $72,000 for the district. The district's success in improving energy efficiency began with a commitment by the superintendent who appointed a district-wide energy committee to develop and implement a comprehensive energy management guideline. A key element of the plan is the creation of energy teams in each school (made up of representatives from the schools administration, teaching staff, and custodial staff) to compile and track energy data, identify energy savings opportunities, and oversee improvements. Successful energy measures have included delamping all three-bulb light fixtures down to two lamps and all two-lamp fixtures down to one lamp throughout all corridors; Lowering all heating set point during the heating season and raising the temperature during cooling season; Rescheduling air handlers to run only when areas are occupied' and increasing staff awareness of energy-saving potential of turning off electronics when not in use.