Superior, WI – Superior High School was in need of an upgrade when voters passed a referendum in 2016 to upgrade facilities throughout the school district, including an addition and remodel of the 296,000-square-foot high school building, built in 1965.
The district-wide upgrades came with a $92 million price tag, but taxpayers will get some of their money back through energy efficiency. The renovated Superior High School includes energy-efficient HVAC and kitchen equipment, as well as LED lights and fixtures.
Those efficiency projects earned the school district a nearly $200,000 incentive check Monday from Focus on Energy and the district’s utility, Superior Water, Light & Power. A ceremonial check for $199,585 was presented to the district’s Board of Education at its Monday evening meeting.
Energy-efficient equipment at the high school will save the School District of Superior 1,087,655 kilowatt-hours of electricity and 114,783 therms of natural gas each year. To put that in perspective, energy efficiency measures at the high school will annually save the district enough energy to power 164 homes for a year. Furthermore, the upgrades will save the School District of Superior $193,984 per year compared to what the district would have paid if it installed baseline equipment.
"Focus on Energy has made it very easy for the School District of Superior to work with them to save energy and get the best return on our investment possible,” said Gary Niemi, Director of Building and Grounds for the district. “This has been true in the past and it was true on this project. We plan to continue our joint effort into the future."
Energy Advisors with Focus on Energy’s Agriculture, Schools & Government program worked with utility experts to help the district choose some of the most efficient heating and cooling equipment, commercial kitchen equipment and lighting available, installed by Focus on Energy Trade Ally contractors, including Krause Anderson Construction.
“We’re pleased Superior High School was able to achieve such substantial annual financial and energy savings,” said Rob Sandstrom, Manager of Electric Operations and Customer Service at Superior Water, Light & Power. “The school district was able to identify and integrate many energy-efficient processes into their beautiful new building by working with us and our partners at Focus on Energy.”
Superior School District’s relationship with Focus on Energy dates back to the mid-2000s when the district participated in the first Benchmarking Initiative Focus on Energy offered to Wisconsin schools. Nearly a decade-and-a-half later, the district is still working with Focus on Energy and recently participated in a new Benchmarking Initiative, completed in late 2018, which will help district administrators find energy-saving opportunities moving forward and accurately measure energy savings from upgrades made through the referendum.
Superior Water Light & Power is one of 107 Wisconsin utilities that fund and participate in the Focus on Energy program. Customers of those utilities are eligible for the energy expertise and financial incentives Focus on Energy provides to Wisconsin residents, business owners, farms, schools and local governments. An annual independent evaluation found every $1 utilities invest in Focus on Energy leads to $5.93 in benefits for Wisconsin, including economic benefits, reduced energy costs, and reduced pollution.
About Focus on Energy
Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilities' statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program funded by the state's investor-owned energy utilities and participating municipal and electric cooperative utilities. Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Focus on Energy information, resources and financial incentives help to implement projects that otherwise would not be completed. Its efforts help Wisconsin residents and businesses manage rising energy costs, promote in-state economic development, protect our environment and control Wisconsin's growing demand for electricity and natural gas. For more information call 800.762.7077 or visit focusonenergy.com.