Focusing on Energy Conservation, Cutting Costs with PowerEd

  • ISD 728 Energy Mission

    Our mission is to educate, inspire and empower our staff and students on the importance of energy conservation and to be good stewards of district resources and the environment.


    Since the summer of 2016, ISD 728 has been teaming with the McKinstry Group to implement PowerEd, a program that positions students and staff around the district to focus on energy conservation and to avoid growing long-term costs to the district in the process. Along with the program implenetation, ISD 728 made changes to the district’s energy policy, put in place by the ISD 728 School Board, followed by the creation of “Building Champions” at each ISD 728 facility that assist the district in several energy-saving steps that help save the schools money.

    Energy Policy Update

    The updates to the district’s energy policy were approved by the school board in September of 2016, with a focus on “shutting off and shutting down” some of the most expensive energy “no-no’s” found throughout the district.

    A couple of points the district focuses on in each building:

    • Lighting will be adjusted to conserve energy and “People/Power/Planet” reminders are in place to make sure lights are turned off when and where they can be.
    • Office copiers and printers will be shut down at night.
    • Computers will be run in optimum efficiency.
    • Appliances should not be located in learning spaces, according to district policy, unless they are used for academic purposes. This includes coffee makers, refrigerators, microwaves and heaters.
    • Custodial staff will lead the building heating/cooling settings.

    Other points of energy conservation can be found in the revised policy.

    These policies are in place to support our building operators and their teams as we enforce these energy savings tactics, en route to becoming a cost reduced/waste free district. Buildings are already seeing the benefits, thanks to PowerEd’s “People/Power/Planet” website, which shows everything from energy savings to “power points” earned at each school. The dashboard also shows how many tons of carbon have been saved since the district implemented the energy savings program.


    An Example in Energy Savings

    Each school has embraced the mission of People-Power-Planet this academic year. Our buildings are served by captains who report on energy savings initiatives and pass on tips and tricks from PowerEd into the classroom. 

    And it's paying off. Not only is the district home to some of the top energy savers in the country - at both the elementary and secondary level - but it's even earned one classroom some cold, hard cash. 

    Here's a look at Zimmerman Elementary's tactics in saving energy and re-using waste, something that earned them $250 from PowerEd.