USD 475 has worked hard to reduce energy consumption and costs over the last five years. The district recognizes that it has a responsibility to be conscious of its energy usage and to be fiscally conservative whenever possible.
USD 475 partnered with Cenergistic to work diligently to reduce energy consumption throughout the district. Cenergistic, a Dallas-based firm, works with many school districts and businesses to evaluate energy usage, track energy consumption, and implement energy-saving techniques. Some of the techniques the district has implemented include optimizing all heating and cooling systems and schedules, ensuring appropriate lights and electronics are off during evenings and weekends, and ensuring that existing equipment is managed more efficiently while keeping students and staff comfortable during classtime and scheduled activities.
David Wert is the Cenergistic representative assigned to advise David Wild, Chief Operations Officer, and to monitor the schools of USD 475. He works out of the Devin Center and does audits and inspections at every building in the district. He goes into schools after hours and ensures that heating and cooling systems are not running during times of vacancy, lights and other items are setback properly, and uses a variety of meters to ensure safety and compliance with ENERGY STAR® standards. He tracks and documents the usage of gas, electricity, water, and sewer services.
These efforts have resulted in ENERGY STAR® certifications for 17 of the 18 schools within USD 475 for this year. ENERGY STAR® is the standard established by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy to show when buildings and appliances are energy efficient. School districts must apply for ENERGY STAR® ratings and are subject to inspection by regulators prior to receiving the certification. Geary County schools have been enjoying this rating for three years running — placing the district in the top 25 percent of the nation’s most efficient school districts.
Thanks to these efforts, and its partnership with Cenergistic, USD 475 has enjoyed saving over $3,000,000 in energy-related costs in the last five years. The Geary County Board of Education has recognized the importance of these efforts and has agreed to continue the partnership with Cenergistic for the next five years. With everyone’s cooperation, we’re saving valuable funds to use directly for education.