Energy Efficiency Program
Schools in Madison School District 321 are dedicated to the new Energy Efficiency Program, which uses different methods to cut down on yearly energy consumption. This reduction of energy usage allows the district to put the money saved to other needs that couldn’t otherwise be supplied.
Reed Ellis, Building and Maintenance Manager for Madison County, explains what happens in buildings that reduces energy consumption. When asked what the most important factor in cutting down energy usage was, Ellis said, “The number one thing is awareness. Staff members throughout the school system are making a conscious effort to save energy, and that’s making all the difference.”
One method that puts a dent in energy consumption is the use of automated controls and systems. A large number of schools in the district have already installed systems such as Climatic Control, including Rexburg’s own Madison High School. According to Ellis, these are the some of the most efficient energy savers.
Varr Snedaker, Madison School District 321 Business Manager, explains that the district saves roughly $100,000 a year due to the program. This means that money saved can be used for other energy savers, such as energy efficient light bulbs. Other changes are being made, including the adjustment of heating systems so temperature fluctuations are more stable.
It isn’t just the big things that reduce energy usage. As Ellis visits different buildings in the school district, he makes sure that unnecessary energy users are turned off. That includes things such as faucets, lights, computer monitors, and speakers- the seemingly little things. Here at Madison School District 321, we ensure that these little things get taken care of.
And how are staff members responding to these changes? Ellis states, “They’re doing really well. The teachers are really getting on board.”
The Energy Efficiency Program is all about controlling the factors that we can control, even the tiniest details. But sometimes it’s doing the little things that give us the biggest results.
Madison School District prides itself on being on the cutting edge of the nation-wide energy conservation movement. The program is still new and developing but hopes are high that the savings will be well worth the efforts. Mark Bates, Energy Auditor, or Russ Wilson, Building Operations Administrator, can be contacted with questions about this program.
Madison High is home to one of the largest solar panel arrays in the state. The District was awarded a grant from the Idaho Office of Energy Resources that will help them in their energy conservation efforts. This grant funded the installation of 308 solar panels on the roof of the high school. These solar panels are projected to save thousands of dollars as well as providing a teaching platform. The high school will be looking to ad alternative energy conservation classes to the curriculum so students can learn firsthand from the solar panels. This information is not limited to students. Anyone interested can track the energy that is generated by the solar panels in comparison with the energy being used. We are proud to be on the cutting edge of the movement to "Go Green".