North Branch Area Public Schools began participation in the Schools for Energy Efficiency program in February of 2009. According to Energy Efficiency Program Coordinator Becky Leuer, “The main purpose in becoming involved in this program was to save school resources through energy conservation. The program has been very successful for us and we have shown significant cost avoidance during the past four years.”
Cost avoidance is the amount of money not spent on energy due to a reduction in use. After 16 quarters or four years in the SEE program, NBAPS has avoided costs of $546,070. The school district is now entering its fifth year in the program.
The SEE program has three goals: to reduce energy use by 10 percent, achieve ENERGY STAR recognition and maintain a safe and healthy environment in the buildings. NBAPS has been able to accomplish each of these goals and continues to work toward improving their energy use and being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.
In the four years of participation, NBAPS has achieved over a 10 percent reduction in energy use in 15 of 16 quarters of participation. The first quarter of participation — February, March and April of 2009 — was the only quarter not at or over 10 percent. NBAPS has received the ENERGY STAR Leader award for 10 percent reduction in energy use in September 2010 and 20 percent in May of 2011. Most recently, North Branch Area Middle School has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR certified building.
“We have accomplished all of this while maintaining good ventilation, heat, and cooling depending on the season so that students can concentrate on learning in a healthy environment,” Leuer said.