Located in Bettendorf, IA, Bettendorf Community School District is a flagship educational system serving more than 4,500 early childhood through 12th grade students and employing nearly 600 staff. There are three district facilities and eight schools in the district, including six elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. Bettendorf Community School District leaders believe that public education should provide leadership in developing an energy-efficient culture and support awareness about positive environmental impact and utility cost avoidance opportunities. To support the development of this leadership, they also believe that all staff and students should learn and practice ways to reduce energy consumption on a daily basis by instilling lifelong habits for energy conservation; therefore, everyone is required to abide by the adopted energy standards.
Bettendorf Community Schools District has been recognized by EPA as an ENERGY STAR Leader for improving the energy efficiency of its portfolio of buildings by at least 10 percent. This improvement has resulted in a cost avoidance of approximately $92,000 for the first 9 months of the program and the elimination of more than 900 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to the annual emissions from almost 180 cars or planting almost 200 acres of trees. In December 2009, the district partnered with Schools for Energy Efficiency (SEE) with the goal of improving energy efficiency to reduce energy costs by 10 percent. The district furthered its dedication to superior energy performance by joining as an ENERGY STAR partner in 2010. The primary focus of the effort has been to empower everyone within the district to make simple changes in day-to-day habits to save energy. The district began the campaign by adopting an energy policy as a commitment to becoming a more energy-conscious environment through energy-efficient building operation and behavioral strategies. A primary goal of the effort is to maintain a comfortable learning environment without compromising the health, safety, and security of students and staff. The district and SEE staff track utility usage and compare results to past practice on a quarterly basis. Energy efficiency teams in each building work to identify saving opportunities and encourage conservation behaviors among students and staff, especially turning off lights when rooms are empty. Operations staff engages in a wide variety of activities to improve building and mechanical efficiencies. In 2010, the Energy Hog, a character and program developed by the National Ad Council and run by the Alliance to Save Energy, visited the district elementary schools to engage children and raise awareness of energy waste and efficiency.