Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) educates more than 17,000 students in the City of Cupertino and portions of five surrounding communities in California's Silicon Valley. Our student population is extremely diverse, coming from families speaking over 46 different languages. The mission of CUSD is to provide a child-centered environment that cultivates character, fosters academic excellence, and embraces diversity. District families, community, and staff join as partners to develop creative, exemplary learners with the skills and enthusiasm to contribute to a constantly changing global society. The district operates 20 elementary and five middle schools comprising over 1.5 million square feet of floor space. In 2005, CUSD began an energy management program to reduce and control utility costs to the district, recognizing that utilities are the second largest component of our budget after staff salaries and benefits. In addition to receiving financial benefits, the district has improved its support in the community and provides a valuable example to students and staff of energy and environmental stewardship. To implement its energy management program, CUSD partnered with Energy Education, Inc. based in Dallas, Texas. As part of that process, EEI encouraged CUSD to participate in the ENERGY STAR program.
The district has earned ENERGY STAR Leaders Top Performer recognition for achieving a portfolio-wide average ENERGY STAR energy performance score of 95. The district earned Top Performer recognition once before and been recognized as an ENERGY STAR Leader for reducing its energy use by more than 20 percent across its portfolio of buildings. Financially, this represents an ongoing savings rate of more than $600,000 per year in avoided costs for electricity, natural gas, sewer, and water. CUSD has reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1,000 metric tons, equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 200 cars or the planting of 220 acres of trees. What's more impressive is that these savings have been achieved without significant capital investments or equipment purchases. Systematic monitoring of equipment runtimes, targeted equipment maintenance, testing and reprogramming of control systems, training of users and maintenance personnel, and creating a culture of energy awareness throughout Cupertino Union School District have been the keys to its success.