Sheboygan Area School District (SASD) schools have recently earned the
Energy Star rating, bringing the total number of schools to 17 out of
21 SASD buildings.
"It's an extensive procedure to
earn Energy Star ratings, but the time is more than worth the savings,"
said Gene Gasper, SASD supervisor of energy systems and operations.
schools that were most recently added include the Early Learning
Center, Grant, James Madison, Longfellow and Washington Elementary
Schools; North and South High Schools; and Lake Country Academy. Even
Washington Elementary School, which was built in 1911, was able to make
The SASD is now 30.8 percent more
efficient than it was in February 2006. "Our carbon footprint from
February 2006 to October 2008 is equivalent to saving 39,481 tons of
carbon from entering the air," said Gasper. "That's the same as taking
2,257 cars off the road for a year or the same as a 10-year acreage of
not harvesting 321,596 trees. That's how much we have saved the
Gasper, who has been with the SASD 24
years, was appointed energy star director in January 2006. He is
passionate about finding ways to save energy. He takes time to visit
each school and discover "loose" areas of electricity ranging from
thermostats not working properly to water coolers that run for too long.
Items tested to qualify for Energy Star ratings include lighting, airflow and energy efficiency, among others.
need to know such things as the amount of total airflow in the
building, how much outdoor lighted space there is, the hours of
operation, what the building is used for, how many computers are in the
building, the number of students in a building, whether there is food
preparation or not," said Gasper. "The cooperation from the school
board and administration down to the students and teachers has been
"It makes me really proud of the
district," said Gasper. "As much as I am the energy manager, I cannot
do it alone. It is the total commitment by the entire district that has
made these savings possible."
The other SASD
schools, which are already Energy Star certified, are Farnsworth and
Horace Mann Middle Schools; and Cooper, Jackson, Jefferson, Lincoln
Erdman, Pigeon River, Sheridan and Wilson Elementary Schools.
order to maintain the standard, Gasper and his team need to ensure that
every school engages in a summer shut down, based on how the school is
used during summer months. Gasper added, "There are 21 things we do in
the summer to save energy."
Gasper is working on another cost-saving project at Pigeon River Recreation Department.
going from incandescent lights to compact fluorescent lights we're
going to save approximately $42/week in electricity and the payback for
me doing that is only 12-14 weeks," explained Gasper, adding that
within four months the savings will add up to $7/day.
to Gasper many teachers and administrators, as well as students, are
taking these energy saving ideas home saving money in their households,
and benefiting the environment.
cost-saving measures that can be taken in homes including closing off
unused rooms, turning off lights, unplugging unused devices, keeping
freezers at least 2/3 full, close shades and curtains for insulation,
use digital thermostats and reverse ceiling fans for winter months,
which pushes the heat back down.