Skip To Main Content

Select a School

Madison Metropolitan School District

Energy Management

Energy Conservation Work

The Madison Metropolitan School District has been committed to energy conservation for over 30 years.  Dating back to the early 1980’s, the District took advantage of Federal funding through a program called Institutional Conservation Program (ICP) that provided grants to match funds for energy related work with paybacks ranging from 3 to 5 years that were implemented in schools and hospitals.

The District was awarded over $570,000 in matching grants under this program and implemented over $1 million dollars of energy conservation related projects. Projects included boiler modifications and controls, addition of pipe insulation, pool covers, ventilation reductions, lighting retrofits, and programmable time clocks.

In 1981, the District consumed 21,552,431 kWh of electricity and 3,377,783 therms of natural gas and 188,727 gallons of fuel oil for a combined total energy use of 447,644,000 kBTU. In 1981 the district gross area of 3,929,519 sq. ft.

Numerous rebates were awarded through the local utility for steam trap replacement, boiler tune-ups and lighting retrofits.

In addition to the energy related projects, maintenance work also took advantage of opportunities to improve facility performance with replacement windows with improved thermal performance, addition of insulation during roof replacement work, pipe insulation, conversion of steam systems to water and installation of automated building controls.

Technology advances in the areas of energy conservation allowed district to replace T-12 lamps with T-8 lamps, replacement of magnetic ballast with electronic, installation of vending machine controls to limit operation during occupied times, installation of computer management software to shut down computers during non-occupied times, changing incandescent lamps to compact fluorescent lamps, LED exit lights, installation of VFD (variable frequency drives) on large equipment motors, installation of occupancy controls on HVAC and lighting system and changing pneumatic control systems to DDC (direct digital control).

In 1998 the District entered into a Performance Contract with Honeywell Inc. to provide energy savings in the form of guaranteed savings by implementing automation, mechanical replacements, VAV (variable air volume) conversions, lighting, water conservation work and operational cost avoidance. The first phase primarily dealt with projects in the 4 high schools. Addition schools were covered in subsequent phases. This work contributed to a total cost avoidance in excess of $16 million dollars over a ten year period.

In 1999, the District achieved the distinction of Summa Cum Laude honors presented by the US EPA Energy Star Buildings Partnership.  This honor is awarded top performing universities and school districts nationwide by meeting the challenge of working toward energy efficiency goals.

In 2004 the District contracted with Solar Mining to install solar pool heating systems at the 4 high schools. The solar systems produce between 600 and 700 btu’s of energy per square foot of solar array per day. It has been estimated that these system will reduce greenhouse gases by 195,400 pounds annually.

The District began working with Focus on Energy in 2001. As of October 2006, the District has received in excess of $200,000 as reported in a press release from Focus on Energy. Focus on Energy has also provided funding through grants and rebates associated with the district’s on-going energy efforts. Funding has been provided for wind studies, steam trap replacement work, boiler upgrades and lighting retrofits.

In 2006, the District was awarded the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Energy Efficiency. This award was presented by Governor Doyle and Focus on Energy Business Programs in recognition of our dedication to improve energy efficiency in Wisconsin.

The on-going energy conservation work has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Star program. Energy Star certification signifies that a building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA.

In 2009, a US EPA listing shows the Madison Metropolitan School District has nearly 60 percent of the Energy Star buildings in the City of Madison. To date, 19 Madison Metropolitan Schools have received the “Energy Star” label. They include Allied Learning Center -2002, Allis Elementary -2008, Black Hawk Middle/Gompers M/E -2007, Cherokee Middle - 2006, Crestwood Elementary - 2007, East High - 2008, Emerson Elementary - 2008, Franklin Elementary - 2008, Jefferson Middle - 2006, Kennedy Elementary - 2007, Lake View Elementary -2007, Lapham Elementary -2005, Midvale Elementary - 2006, Muir Elementary - 2006, O’Keeffe /Marquette E/M - 2007, Sandburg Elementary – 2007, Shorewood Elementary -2007 and Stephens Elementary - 2007. To learn more about the Energy Star program and to find educational materials go to: Energy Star K-12 School Resources

An example of the District’s commitment to overall energy performance is the recently constructed Olson Elementary School. Constructed in 2008, the facility achieved a LEED award of Silver in New School Construction. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The design incorporated geothermal HVAC systems, energy efficient lighting, day lighting strategies, photovoltaic solar and energy efficient construction.

In 2010 the District hired McKinstry to begin a program aimed at behavior-focused energy awareness and operational efficiency designed to reduce costs, increase efficiency and promote environmentally friendly operations. Between July 2010 and 2011, this program has reduced total energy consumption district-wide by 4.6 percent as documented in the Year One Summary Report.  Overall energy savings for Year Three indicates a savings of 11.9 percent as documented in the Year Three Year End Summary Report.

Board of Education Policy and supporting Energy Guidelines have been established to save energy, as well as maintain a goal to save resources without impacting the educational mission of the District.

In 2010, the District consumed 25,233,176 kWh of electricity and 2,621,819 therms of natural gas for a combined total energy use of 344,769,000 kBTU. In 2010 the district gross area of all facilities was 4,513,618 sq. ft.

The District has expanded over the past 30 years in the number of facilities it operates and total area. Net area has increase by 584,000 square feet, technology use in the educational program continues to change, personal computers increased from 5,800 in 1998 to over 9000 in 2002. Yet the District continues to maintain energy consumption at or below what was consumed in 1981. As we move forward, it is the goal of Building Services to continue to improve the educational environment for students while at the same time, continue to improve our energy saving efforts.

Schools are participating in People.Power.Planet. People.Power.Planet challenges people to take action and reduce their energy use to better the planet. It fuels the most important element of energy savings and sustainability: People. See firsthand how your actions, and the actions of others, can help to reduce energy use and our environmental footprint by clicking on your building. Follow the link to see more information on the district: People, Power, Planet District Report Card

Energy data is available at Energy WatchDog for years 2002 through 2011. To access energy data for the district follow the link:
User name:  mmsd
Password:  ppp2011

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WI DNR) provides a program called Green & Healthy Schools. Per the WI DNR, the mission of the Wisconsin Green and Healthy Schools program aims to increase the students’ knowledge and awareness of Wisconsin’s natural resources and the environmental, health, and safety concerns and challenges that face our schools, our communities, and our Earth. The Green and Healthy Schools program will help students develop the necessary skills and expertise to address these challenges, and to foster life-long attitudes, behaviors, and commitments in order to make informed decisions and to encourage students to become active participants in their communities*. Furthermore, by completing the steps of the program schools will discover ways that their individual school can provide a safe, clean, and green school that promotes a productive learning environment and in doing so will help to conserve and protect our valuable natural resources. (*Portions of the Green and Healthy Mission were taken from UNESCO, Tbilisi Declaration, 1977). Wisconsin DNR Green & Healthy Schools