From a news release issued by Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton:

Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton today announced that the Fennimore Community School District accepted the Lt. Governor’s Energy Star School Challenge, a commitment to reduce energy consumption by ten percent.

“School districts are true leaders when it comes to energy efficiency,” Lawton said. “Tight budgets demand it. I am proud that the leaders of the Fennimore Community School District have accepted the challenge to be better stewards of taxpayer dollars and of the environment.”

”Our energy management team is excited about the Lt. Governor’s energy challenge,” said Fennimore Community School District Superintendent Jamie Nutter. “Our school board has supported this challenge, which will serve as an additional incentive for implementing good energy management practices. In addition to setting a good example for our students, this initiative will lower our energy expenses.”

Lt. Governor Lawton issued her Energy Star School Challenge in April of 2008 as part of her Green Economy Agenda. Lawton said that her goal for the challenge is to commit at least 100 new school districts, nearly 25 percent of all Wisconsin school districts, to reduce their energy costs by at least 10 percent.

Participating organizations simply agree to:

+ Make a commitment to improve energy efficiency by 10 percent or more.
+ Measure and track the energy performance of the district facilities where possible. Tools are available through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Energy Star program at no cost.
+ Develop and implement a plan consistent with the EPA Energy Star Energy Management Guidelines to achieve energy savings.
+ Educate staff and community members about energy efficiency. . . .

According to the EPA, U.S. schools currently spend $6 billion a year on energy costs, more than they spend on textbooks and computers combined. Inefficient technologies and design rob them of an average of 20% of that energy purchased.

“With high energy costs looming on the horizon and sure losses to districts with the inefficiencies inherent to their aging building stock, school leaders need access to an easy way to begin to change operations and habits,” Lawton said. “Different districts may follow distinct paths to increased efficiency, but they will all experience improved performance and health with better lighting and air quality. And they will all realize significant savings that became addictive and drive continued work toward greater efficiency.”