K-12 Schools
powerED Program Leads to Huge Energy Savings in Madison

​The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) in Madison, Wis., has surpassed the $1 million mark in cost avoidance since launching the powerED program three years ago. The comprehensive energy awareness and operational efficiency program leverages McKinstry expertise and the interest and commitment of District leaders to engage staff and students. Their efforts have led to an energy use reduction of 12 percent.

As one of the largest districts in the state of Wisconsin, achieving these results was no small task. Behind the scenes, the McKinstry team facilitated the adoption of a school-wide energy policy, established standardized temperature setpoints, reduced equipment runtimes and conducted whole building audits on all 45 district facilities. Meanwhile students and staff are learning about the importance of energy efficiency and how their simple day-to-day actions impact overall energy use through the People.Power.Planet campaign.

The People.Power.Planet campaign activates the passion and interest of school-level “energy champions” who work within each facility to encourage and inspire others to take energy-saving actions. The People.Power.Planet campaign kicked off in MMSD two years ago. Under the leadership of our local partner, Julie Jarvis with the nonprofit group Sustain Dane, participation has been phenomenal. Since launching, more than 11,000 students and staff have pledged to save energy. Student-led power patrols conduct periodic classroom audits across the district prompting people to save energy by posting classroom checklists and placing reminder stickers on light switches and computer monitors. Students are also learning about building energy systems through tours with the school custodian or with McKinstry’s own Glenn Bolt. Students have investigated phantom loads with watt meters, and some even received a visit from the Energy Hog. In the words of the energy champion at Emerson Elementary School, “This is a truly great program. All children do better when they focus on something bigger than themselves.” Congratulations to the McKinstry team and MMSD on these stellar results.