Rowan-Salisbury School System in North Carolina educates 20,000 students in buildings representing more than 3,263,000 square feet of floor space. The district's mission is to develop globally competitive schools that inspire, challenge, and empower students to meet high academic standards, lead ethical lives, and demonstrate knowledgeable, responsible citizenship in an increasingly challenging world. In line with its mission, the district's comprehensive energy conservation policy teaches children to be good stewards of the environment and ensures conservative use of taxpayer dollars. An ENERGY STAR Partner since 2009, the district's implementation of ENERGY STAR tools and resources has increased awareness and boosted cooperation while helping the district to meet its energy goals.
Rowan-Salisbury School System has been recognized by EPA as an ENERGY STAR Leader for improving the efficiency of its facilities by more than 20 percent compared to a 2002 baseline and as a Top Performer for achieving an average ENERGY STAR energy performance score of 86 across its portfolio of buildings. The district's energy management program, instituted in 2002, has helped the district to earn ENERGY STAR certification for 31 of it schools. Partnering with EduCon Consulting Inc., the district achieved success through teaching and applying conservation practices; properly maintaining energy systems and equipment; modifying thermostat set points; and upgrading existing lighting systems with T-8 lamps and motion sensors. The district also audits its buildings on a regular basis during occupied and unoccupied hours to assure that equipment is functioning properly and that energy guidelines are followed. In the first six years of its energy management program, the district saved more than $6 million in utility costs. Compared to its 2002 baseline, the district currently prevents the emissions of more than 3,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, which is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by more than 98,400 tree seedlings planted and grown for 10 years.