Located near the scenic foothills of Mount Rainier, Bethel School District is the 13th largest school district in Washington State representing over 2 million square feet of floor space. The district covers 215 square miles and currently has an annual enrollment of nearly 18,000 students. The mission of Bethel School District is to provide a safe educational environment which enables students to develop and apply the skills, knowledge, attitudes, and values needed to realize their maximum potential. The district sees energy conservation as a positive, effective way to help the environment while reducing operating costs. In 2005, Bethel School District became an ENERGY STAR Partner and entered into a partnership with Cenergistic (formerly Energy Education, Inc.).
Bethel School District has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR Leader for improving the energy efficiency of its facilities by more than 20 percent since its 2005 baseline and as a Top Performer for achieving an average ENERGY STAR performance score of 83 across its portfolio of buildings. As part of the district's commitment to energy efficiency, an energy manager was hired to implement a comprehensive energy program. A key element of the program's success has been ensuring that equipment, lights, and computers are off when the school buildings are not in use; this is achieved through a combination of staff member training and building auditing. By promoting energy savings and teaching people to make positive everyday energy decisions, the district is creating a culture of conservation. Since 2006, the district has saved more than $4.5 million in utility costs. Compared to its baseline year, Bethel School District has prevented the annual emissions of more than 1,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by more than 39,000 tree seedlings planted and grown for 10 years. Additional help and training for the district's energy program has been obtained through local partnerships, including: the Washington State University Extension Energy Program, the state of Washington Department of Enterprise Services, Ameresco, Tacoma Public Utilities, and Puget Sound Energy.