Albert Lea Area Schools has earned ENERGY STAR Leaders recognition for improving its energy efficiency by more than 20 percent throughout the district. The district, which educates approximately 3,750 students, has worked with Energy Education, Inc. to implement energy-efficient upgrades and change energy use behaviors. This successful partnership has instilled a sustainable energy ethic throughout the district's seven schools, all of which have earned the ENERGY STAR.
From its baseline year of 2003, Albert Lea Schools has realized nearly $1 million in energy savings, and the district's annual reduction in CO2 emissions is equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 350 vehicles. Led by the schools energy educator/manager with support from Energy Education's engineers and specialists, the district has implemented hundreds of improvements leading to better energy use habits. With the goal of reducing energy use during unoccupied hours, the energy management team encouraged staff to adjust thermostats to use less energy and to turn lights and computers off when not in use. A cover for the heated indoor pool also helped improve energy performance.