Community Unit School District 200, located in Illinois, educates over 13,400 students in school buildings encompassing over 2,500,000 square feet of floor space and covering more than 25 square miles in DuPage County. The district's vision is to be an exemplary, student-focused school district that is highly regarded for the competence and character of its students and the excellence of its people, programs, and learning environment. The mission of the district is to inspire, educate, support, and challenge all students to reach their highest level of learning and personal development. Community Unit School District 200 has an active energy program that involves all stakeholders in energy efficiency initiatives and includes important opportunities to teach students about environmental protection. An ENERGY STAR Partner since 2010, the district strives to conserve energy to maximize the funds available for instructional programs and support services.
Community Unit School District 200 has been recognized by EPA as an ENERGY STAR Leader for improving energy efficiency by more than 20 percent compared to a 2008 baseline and as a Top Performer for earning an average ENERGY STAR energy performance score of 85 across its portfolio of buildings. Participation in the ENERGY STAR program has provided the district with many valuable resources and ideas that have enabled administrators to maximize goals and ensure that the district's students and 200 staff members are learning to be good stewards of the environment. The district's success in improving energy efficiency began with a commitment by the Board of Education. The Board appointed a district-wide energy operations manager to develop and implement a comprehensive energy management plan. In accordance with this plan, the school utilizes a building audit system and the energy operations manager uses software to track energy data, identify energy savings opportunities, and oversee improvements. Successful efficiency measures have included an increased focus on maintenance of energy systems and equipment; upgrading lighting systems; reviewing and modifying both indoor and outdoor lighting schedules and thermostat set points; and purchasing ENERGY STAR qualified office equipment and appliances whenever possible. Compared to its baseline year, the district currently prevents the emissions of more than 5,100 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by more than 131,700 tree seedlings planted and grown for 10 years. On a cost basis, the district saved more than $3 million from January 2009 through July 2012 enough to cover the cost of more than 70 new starting district teaching positions.
As Community Unit School District 200 moves forward with the energy program that led to ENERGY STAR recognition, student groups at all education levels elementary, middle, and high school continue to create "green" initiatives and express their commitment to saving energy and protecting the environment.