District has saved $3.3 million in energy costs

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Energy Director Neal Bickler updated the Board of Education at its regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 24 on the District's energy savings program and noted the District has saved more than $3.3 million in energy costs over the past 12 years.

He said the District would have spent nearly $14.9 million since 2004 without the program but instead has spent $11.5 million, a savings of more than 22 percent.

"We've done a great job over the years,'' he said. "I'm really pleased with what we are doing this year.''

Bickler also announced that all 10 District schools will receive Energy Star awards from the Environmental Protection Agency. All 10 schools are between 91-99 percent on the Energy Star rating scale with Sauk Trail, one of the District's oldest buildings, at 99 percent. Schools receive Energy Star awards with ratings above 75 percent, he said. He also noted MCPASD is one of two districts in the state with every building above 90.

He also compared a study that was done in 2014-15 at Kromrey with the current results and noted the school has seen a 55 percent reduction since last winter that has resulted in $27,000 in savings. Bickler will be part of the tour Australian educators take on Tuesday and also will be part of a Green & Healthy Schools Institute panel discussion that more than 70 state educators are attending at Kromrey on Friday.

He believes his role over the past 12 years has been more educational and changing the culture. He also praised Bill Eberhardt and the facilities services staff for updating energy technology in the buildings.

"The staff have really bought in,'' he said. "Whatever we all can do to minimize energy use is huge.''

Added Board president Bob Green: "As stewards of the taxpayers' dollars, programs like this are very important. This is one very important piece of that puzzle. Your work is much appreciated. This shows we are doing the best we can with the money we have.''