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Austin Public Schools ISD 492

Logo for Austin Public Schools ISD 492 Austin, Minnesota
Top Performer (2007)
Top Performer (2008)

The Austin Public Schools Independent School District (ISD) 492 educates more than 4,400 students in seven school buildings that occupy more than a million square feet of floor space. The district's mission is to work together with family and community to empower students to learn for life, to strive for excellence, and to contribute in a global society. The district views energy efficiency as an important opportunity to teach students about environmental protection while, at the same time, reducing operating costs. Austin Public Schools ISD 492 strives to conserve energy in order to maximize the funds available for instructional programs and support services.

The district's partnerships with ENERGY STAR and the Schools for Energy Efficiency (SEE) program have provided valuable resources and ideas that have helped meet energy goals and encourage students to change behaviors in order to be good stewards of the environment. Austin Public Schools ISD 492 has twice earned ENERGY STAR Leaders Top Performer recognition, most recently for an average energy performance rating of 88, and four of the district's buildings have earned the ENERGY STAR.  

To achieve these results, Austin Public Schools created energy teams for each school to encourage behavioral changes, identify energy savings opportunities, and implement the program. Successful efficiency measures included: comprehensive recommissioning planning for all buildings; increasing focus on energy system and equipment maintenance; installing motion sensors in all school rooms; upgrading lighting systems; modifying indoor and outdoor lighting schedules and thermostat set points; and using ENERGY STAR qualified office equipment and appliances wherever possible.