Cambridge-Isanti District imagines a better world by saving energy

Cambridge-Isanti School District has been making changes to improve energy conservation for over six years and is seeing big differences in their bottom line.

Paul Albinson from Center Point Energy (left) presents a rebate check to Mark Eisenbacher, Director of Buildings and Grounds (center) and Wayne Yust, Maintance Specialist, for energy efficient water heaters that were installed this past year.

The school district participates in the Schools for Energy Efficiency® (SEE) program which provides a comprehensive plan for K-12 schools to reduce energy use and costs by focusing on changing behavior throughout the district. This hands-on program involves everyone from building operators and custodial staff, to teachers, principals, and even the students.

The program promotes efficient facility operations and behavior modifications that create a noticeable change in a school’s energy-use. Changing how teachers, students, and staff think about energy is making a difference across the district, throughout the community, and around the world.

As part of the program, Cambridge-Isanti School District’s goal is to achieve at least a 10-percent reduction in annual energy use, educate staff and students, and attain national recognition through ENERGY STAR® from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. After the sixth year in this program, the district has decreased their energy usage by 34 percent from a baseline established seven years ago.

This means the district avoided spending $1,781,435 on energy during these past six years—money that instead was spent on educating students.  The school district has also had national recognition through ENERGY STAR®   by receiving the 30 percent Improvement Award, the Top Performer Award and receiving the ENERGY STAR®   Label on all of the school buildings.

Cambridge-Isanti Schools are making a difference in the world by using less electricity and natural gas.  This past year the district decreased its energy usage by 27,327 MMBtu’s compared to the baseline which means that 2,281 metric tons of carbon dioxide were not put into the environment. This is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of 436 cars for one year or the greenhouse gas emissions from the production of electricity used by 277 homes for one year.  Little changes make a big difference.