West Genesee Central School District, located near Syracuse, New York, educates more than 5,000 students in buildings which compose more than 867,000 square feet of floor space. The mission of the West Genesee Central School District, in partnership with the community, is to ensure that each student attains the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary not only for lifelong learning, but also to become a cooperative, self-directed, productive, and caring citizen. The district views energy efficiency as 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 educate every student and employee about the environmental benefits of energy efficiency, while also working to conserve energy to maximize the funds available for instructional programs and support services. The district has been a partner of the ENERGY STAR program since 2010.
West Genesee Central School District has been recognized by EPA as an ENERGY STAR Top Performer for achieving an average ENERGY STAR energy performance score of 91 across its portfolio of buildings. In 2010, the district was recognized as an ENERGY STAR Leader for improving energy performance by more than 10 percent compared to a 2007 baseline. The district has used ENERGY STAR tools and resources to meet its energy goals and to ensure that its students are learning to be good stewards of the environment. The district's success in improving energy efficiency began with a commitment by the superintendent, who appointed a district-wide energy manager to develop and implement a comprehensive energy management plan. The district hired an outside agency, Energy Education Inc., to help get started. In January 2008, the district also undertook an energy conservation audit completed by Siemens Building Technologies, Inc. This led to an energy performance project that was completed in December 2009. Successful efficiency measures have included:
-- Controlling HVAC systems
-- Turning off exhaust fans every night
-- Implementing outside air controls for boiler systems
-- Maintaining energy systems and equipment
-- Installing motion sensors in all school rooms, including bathrooms and administrative offices
-- Upgrading lighting systems
-- Reviewing and modifying indoor and outdoor lighting schedules and thermostat set points
-- Turning off all computers, printers, and other electronic devices every night
On a cost basis, the district has saved approximately $127,000 per year, which is enough to cover the cost of several additional teaching positions. Compared to its 2007 baseline, the district currently prevents the emissions of more than 280 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, which is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by more than 7,400 tree seedlings planted and grown for 10 years.