By Sarah Kohlbeck
The Sun Prairie Area School District received Climate Champion 3-Star status for Energy Use at two schools.
The district’s two new elementary schools, Meadow View Elementary (right) and Token Springs Elementary (below), both feature energy efficient design and energy-saving practices and both use about 75% less energy than a typical primary school.
Both elementary schools feature efficient geothermal heating and cooling systems that reduce overall energy usage.
“The Sun Prairie Area School Ddistrict and it's school board believes it has a responsibility to ensure every effort is made to conserve energy and natural resources while exercising sound financial judgement,” said a spokesperson for the district.
Sun Prairie Area School District’s Sustainability and Energy Manager, Kevin Splain, is always pursuing energy efficiency and conservation strategies ways that save money for the district. His efforts reduce district energy bills, easily paying for his annual salary.
These energy efficient practices also allow the schools to hire more teachers, purchase more technology for students, and invest in future energy efficient projects for the district.
Regarding their ability to implement these energy efficient practices, Kevin Splain said: “At the new elementary schools, the district utilized Focus on Energy’s Design Assistance Program which offers incentives to design teams and building owners that can be used to reduce the upfront cost of high efficiency measures that exceed Wisconsin energy code requirements. These measures included lighting control strategies, more efficient equipment and control sequences for the geothermal heating and cooling system, better walls and windows, and higher efficiency domestic water heaters. Through the Design Assistance Program the District received incentives of $302,509 from Focus on Energy and $50,875 from Sun Prairie Utilities, a member of WPPI Energy.”
The school district uses the EPA created energy management tool, ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, which tracks energy usage and building performance and allows them to compare their energy usage with similar buildings nationwide.
You can earn recognition for your organization's efforts by applying for our Climate Champion awards.