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Energy efficiency a priority

Ensuring energy conservation initiatives are met is Jamie Dilbone's part-time job.

As energy manager for the Mohonasen School District, Dilbone makes sure that the district is using the right amount of energy.

He said the district's energy conservation program is, a comprehensive, people-based program that is about using energy when you need it and not using it when you don't.

Dilbone, who works for the district full-time as a software systems specialist, said he found the position interesting because the energy the district uses has a greater impact on the world overall.

"It's the right thing to do," Dilbone said of conserving energy. "We all have to

be good stewards for the environment. This is our planet, and we should be doing the right thing."

In 2006, the district began working with Energy Education, Inc., an energy management and consulting firm that helps schools implement energy conserving measures. In the two years since implementing the energy saving program, three of the district's four schools have obtained Energy Star labeling, which puts them in the top 25 percent of the buildings in the nation in terms of energy performance.

Bradt Primary School, Draper Middle and the high school use 30 percent less energy than similar buildings, according to Adrienne Leon, communications coordinator for the district.

Another accreditation the district owes to Dilbone is an Energy Leader Award from the Environmental Protection Agency. The district received the award because it reduced energy consumption by 20 percent over a two-year period.

Mohonasen is the seventh district in the state to obtain this recognition, and among 39 other schools nationwide.

To receive Energy Star labeling, the district must meet energy usage standards for a building of its size in a similar climate. Dilbone said Energy Star evaluates the district's overall energy footprint.

Pinewood Intermediate School is the only school that did not receive Energy Star labeling because of its outdated boiler system, which will be updated as a part of the district's EXCEL capital improvement project, which voters approved in 2007. Dilbone said the new boiler is targeted to be replaced by next summer.

Dilbone presented the Board of Education with the awards during the Monday, June 16, meeting.

"Energy conservation is just one of the many areas we've focused on districtwide to become more energy efficient," Superintendent Kathleen Spring said. "The energy conservation program is another example of Mohonasen taking a proactive approach to protecting the community's investment in our schools."

More than bragging rights, the district's reduction in energy consumption saves the district more than $175,000 annually, and reduces the district's total carbon dioxide emissions by 1.8 million pounds.""

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