ENERGY STAR Leaders

Polk County School Board

Logo for Polk County School Board Bartow, Florida
Top Performer (2009)
10% Improvement (2010)

Polk County Public Schools is the eighth-largest school district in Florida and is among the largest 40 school districts in the nation. With an enrollment of more than 90,000 students, Polk County operates 160 school sites and centers, including 65 elementary schools, 19 middle schools, and 18 high schools, as well as charter schools, career centers, adult schools, and alternative schools. The district is also the largest employer in Polk County with nearly 13,000 employees, more than half of whom are teachers. The mission of Polk County Public Schools is to ensure rigorous, relevant learning experiences that result in high achievement. To support this mission and serve its students and staff, Polk County established the following goals for its energy management program: help improve energy efficiency to save the nonrenewable resources of the planet; help maintain a quality learning environment for students, teachers, and staff; and help save dollars that the district can productively reinvest in ongoing educational activities.

Polk County Public Schools has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR Leader for improving its average energy performance by 10 percent. The district has previously been recognized as a Leaders Top Performer for achieving a portfolio-wide energy performance score of 96. Polk County School Board has also earned the ENERGY STAR label for superior energy performance for 115 of its facilities. In the last year alone, the district avoided the emissions of nearly 5,800 metric tons, the equivalent of planting more than 1,300 acres of trees. The energy management department has achieved these savings by:

  • Educating all staff in the most energy-efficient way to use the equipment they control.
  • Providing detailed shutdown procedures for periods when the buildings are not occupied.
  • Monitoring all school sites during operational and non-operational hours to ensure the most energy-efficient use of equipment and that control systems are working correctly.
  • Monitoring all utility accounts for proper rate structure and accurate billing.
  • Inputting usage and cost for all utility bills into EnergyCap software to track and report savings results.
  • Participating in the planning of all new buildings and additions to help ensure the most energy-efficient design.
  • Helping educate students and staff about energy efficiency through classroom presentations and printed information.
Participation in ENERGY STAR has provided the district with national recognition for its energy efficiency efforts in the schools. Polk County School Board plans to continue its school-based, decentralized approach while continuing to find new ways to save energy.