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South Washington County Schools

District 833 Takes Steps to Save Money and Increase Environmental Responsibility Efforts

South Washington County Schools is making efforts to save tax payer dollars and lessen its impact on the environment in a switch to renewable energy.

As soon as September, three elementary schools are expected to be powered exclusively by renewable energy. Across the district, as much as 60% of energy use is expected to come from renewable sources next month. Currently, the district gets 10% of its energy from renewable sources.

The change comes as the district joins Xcel’s “Renewable*Connect” program which provides the opportunity to power its buildings with clean wind and solar energy without investing in infrastructure. Administrators are taking part on a month-to-month basis as they evaluate the performance of the program.

South Washington County Schools’ Superintendent Keith Jacobus said, “Smart, forward-thinking decisions, like the ones made by the South Washington County Schools facility department, will allow us to save money while making a positive impact on the environment by going green.”

The district’s facilities department was also recognized for their sustainability efforts by the air filtration company Camfil. In May, Camfil awarded the district with a “5-Star” energy rating award. The award recognizes the district’s efforts to meet air filtration standards while working to conserve energy and reduce waste.

In the 2016-2017 school year, the facilities department began the switch to a higher quality, more durable air filter in some schools. The move means schools have cleaner air while using fewer filters. It also saves the district money, cutting annual filtration expenses in half.