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Austin Public Schools

Policy 804 - Energy Use

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Our School District will ensure that we will encourage energy and natural resource conservation while practicing sound financial management. We believe that public education should provide leadership in developing an energy efficient culture and raise awareness of energy use and its associated costs.

We support the education and motivation of students, teachers and school-based staff to take responsibility for reducing energy consumption while helping to improve the quality of the environment in their school and community.

Throughout our energy conservation efforts, we will not compromise health, safety or security.

Our District leaders will develop short and long-range strategies in the areas of facilities management and curriculum development, which support energy awareness and efficiency.

Implementation of this policy will be the joint responsibility of the Board, administration, teachers, students, and staff and its success will be dependent on cooperation from all levels. The District encourages active participation in this energy efficiency effort.

The District leaders will assist Facility Services or their designee in the direction, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting of energy efficiency. Energy systems at each site will be the joint responsibility of the principal, building operator, and Director of Facility Services.

The Director of Facility Services or their designee will track energy use and cost and communicate results on a regular basis to the Executive Director of Finance and Operations.

Energy Efficiency will be a major consideration in purchasing equipment, new construction, and remodeling of district facilities.


ISD 492 is committed to an energy conscious environment through energy efficient building operation and behavioral strategies. A comfortable learning environment will be maintained and health, safety, and security will not be compromised.

We believe all staff and students should learn and practice ways to reduce energy consumption on a daily basis by instilling lifelong habits for energy conservation; therefore, everyone is required to abide by the following energy guidelines.

First Reading: 03/12/12
Policy Approved: 05/14/12
Policy Renumbered from 807 to 804: 02/11/13
Policy Reviewed: 09/08/14
Policy Reviewed: 01/09/17
Policy Reviewed: 06/10/19
Policy Updated: 11/11/19



Lighting will be turned off in any area that is unoccupied, except in corridors, stairwells, and exits as required by code, or where necessary to maintain an appropriate level of safety.

Lighting in secondary buildings will remain off until before school starts and lights will be shut off after school ends, except in areas occupied with early morning events, evening events, or other scheduled activities.

Lighting in elementary buildings will remain off until before school starts and lights will be shut off after school ends, except in areas occupied with early morning events, evening events, or other scheduled activities.

Natural sunlight should be used in place of electrical light when available, depending on area use and specifications.

Lighting levels will be maintained in accordance with the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) of North America standards.

IES lighting standards will be assessed and maintained through de-lamping and will be a consideration for remodeling and new construction projects.

Gym lights will be turned off when the area is unoccupied. During spring and summer months, when physical education classes are outside, the gym lighting will be limited to walk-through lighting and other minimal lighting requirements.

Night custodians should turn lights on only in the area they are currently working.


On regular school days, temperatures will be maintained for the entire building before the start of school and after dismissal per MN Statute 9503.0060 Subp. 13. Special consideration will be given to certain preschool, special education classrooms and network/server rooms when appropriate.

Night setback temperatures of 60 degrees Fahrenheit will be set after dismissal time until before school starts and during weekends and breaks or vacation periods, with the exception of areas with early morning events, evening events, other scheduled activities, or emergencies.

Staff and students will be encouraged to dress appropriately for the season and if they will be in the building during unoccupied times.

Main boilers will remain off during the summer season with the exception of buildings with pools and areas that need reheat for dehumidification purposes.

Windows should be kept closed during the heating season and when air-conditioning units are in operation.
Doors should be closed in unoccupied areas/classrooms.

Exterior doors and inner vestibule doors shall not be blocked open unless there is a delivery in process.


Staff will not obstruct ventilation/return air ducts or unit ventilators. Ventilation systems will be controlled to maintain the correct amount of air based on occupancy and prescribed ventilation standards.


Early morning events, evening events, summer programming or other scheduled activities will be concentrated to the minimal number of wings within a building.

Large areas such as auditoriums and gymnasiums should not be used for small groups unless necessary. Use of these areas will be coordinated with the maintenance staff to reduce energy use during unoccupied times.


Computer monitors will be set with a sleep-mode . Computer monitors should be shut off when not in use.

All electronics should be shut off at night including but not limited to Life Line amplification systems, LCDs and projectors.

All personal printers and those shared printers that do not have energy savings capabilities should be shut down nightly. Printers that are shared and have energy savings capabilities should be shut down for weekends and long breaks.


Personal plug load, which includes but is not limited to refrigerators, beverage makers, warmers, space heaters are restricted from school district facilities. If there are specific needs, these needs shall be addressed on a case by case basis. Building administrators and the Director of Facility Services will develop an approved list of exemptions for each building. All personal plug loads that are approved should be consolidated and shared wherever possible.

Refrigerators in the staff lounge and science areas will be emptied, cleaned, defrosted and unplugged during the summer, unless used for summer school.

All vending machines (pop, juice, water) not in use will be emptied and unplugged during the summer.


Appliance and equipment “on” times will be as close as possible to the actual use.

Ventilation fans should be used in concurrence with oven and stove use only.

Refrigerator and freezer doors should remain closed as often as possible. All seals that are not adequate shall be replaced.

When remodeling or updating equipment, energy efficiency will become a priority. Frozen food will be consolidated whenever possible and unused equipment unplugged.

Unused kitchen equipment will be unplugged during the summer. Upright freezers and walk-in coolers will be emptied, propped open, and unplugged during the summer, unless they are used for summer programming.


Swimming pool temperatures will be set per MN Statute 4717.1750 Subp. 1 and applicable codes.


All staff and students will comply with energy reduction procedures during peak control energy days/periods. Energy reduction levels will be met in order to fulfill contractual agreements with the Utilities. These will be monitored by the Building Automation System and progressive shut down of equipment may be required. The equipment on the Building Automation System will be prioritized between the Building Administrator and Director of Facility Services to determine the shut down process.