Students Collaborate with Kettle Moraine School District, Help Choose Energy Projects
"We're Gonna Save Energy"

Getting Students Involved

The Kettle Moraine School District is making sure the more than 3,500 students it educates have a hand in how a portion of $19 million from a taxpayer approved referendum is spent. The energy efficiency projects completed in collaboration with the student-led Eco Club, the district Operations Team, and administrators is just one reason the Kettle Moraine School District is a 2023 Energy Efficiency Excellence Award recipient.

Wisconsin Businesses Saving Millions with Energy Efficiency
Focus on Energy New Construction Team
Energy Efficient Measures Installed at Every Opportunity
Kettle Moraine School District Energy Efficiency Award
Left to right: Nita Gawlik, We Energies, Dale Zabel, Kettle Moraine School District, Lt. Governor Sara Rodriguez, Chris Seitz, Energy Advisor

Over four years, starting in 2020, the district program will complete the reconstruction of their athletic fields. The Focus on Energy New Construction team made sure energy efficient measures were installed at every opportunity. LED stadium lighting will be the biggest and most impactful portion of the project from an energy usage perspective.

“We have a culture that we work with,” Kettle Moraine School District Director of Facilities and Safety Dale Zabel told us. “We get the students involved.”

Zabel - is nothing less than inspired by the student-led group, the Eco Club.

“It's part of our culture here between students, staff, and our outside vendors,” Zabel said. “We’re gonna (sic) save energy.”

The Eco Club researches energy efficiency projects such as Projects like LED lighting and hand dryers for bathrooms and recommends them to the district.

Right now, students are organizing a feasibility study with We Energies to install solar panels on all school buildings – that’s 14 acres of roof space!

The club also identified a need for electric car charging stations, at all their facilities for use by faculty, staff and students as electric cars become more and more prevalent. The students in the club are providing recommendations and assisting with the research needed to make decisions regarding this project.

“The involvement of student environmental groups and advisors who were given an active role to pursue energy savings projects is having a positive impact now and, in the future,” We Energies Advisor Nita Gawlik said. “This empowers young people for creative scientific results driven problem solving.”

In the last eight years, Focus on Energy provided $180,000 in rebates for energy efficiency projects which included optimizing performance of building automation systems and installing variable frequency drives to improve building energy use and indoor air quality conditions.

The Focus on Energy rebates for recommissioning the HVAC equipment installed at the time of the referendum, assisted in operating the new systems that were installed to run at their potential which saves operating budget money.

“Our annual therms savings, about 26,000 therms, “Zabel said. “Annual kilowatt or kilowatt hours, about 450,000. And that would power 42 houses.

Congratulations to the Kettle Moraine School District, a 2023 Energy Efficiency Excellence Award Recipient.

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