Focusing energy and budget savings on education


“We need assistance and advice,” shared a school superintendent during a market research focus group, “not products. Right now, the only day-to-day energy information we receive is from people wanting to sell us something.” Another school superintendent added, “Being (organized as a) nonprofit is important, with the goal of saving schools money.”

Research revealed a need for, and Iowa schools’ willingness to join, an association in order to gain access to unbiased energy knowledge, resources and services.  Energy Association of Iowa Schools (EAIS) was created in December 2011.

Board of Directors
EAIS is a non-profit, grassroots organization whose services are based on school-identified needs. We are 100% funded by member dues and matching funds from utilities. Five school superintendents, representing each of Iowa’s four congressional districts and one at-large, have committed to providing guidance on the EAIS board of directors:

District 1 – Rob Busch, Edgewood-Colesburg Community School District
District 2 – Tim Hood, Keokuk Community School District
District 3 – Willie Stone, Corning and Villisca Community School Districts
District 4 – Darrin Strike, West Fork Community School District
At-Large – Scott Williamson, Sioux Central Community School District

EAIS began actively marketing association membership and related services in March 2012.

Membership Dues for membership through June 2015: $1/student/year
Minimum = $500/year

Public and private preK-12 school districts, community colleges, area education agencies, and public and private colleges/universities in Iowa are welcome to join EAIS. Low membership dues are made possible through matching funds provided by Alliant Energy, Black Hills Corporation and MidAmerican Energy.  

Dues pay for themselves with knowledge and savings. In just two years, EAIS has:

  1. Written and received grants for 11 member schools. Matching state lighting grants ranged from $2,707 to $16,500. Resulting energy improvements will save each improved building up to $2,721 annually in electric costs.
  2. Enabled $162,529 to be contributed to the Iowa economy through the above lighting projects.
  3. Saved Iowa schools and taxpayers $79,616 in up- front project costs with grants.
  4. Provided coaching on topics such as HVAC, lighting, insulation, wind turbines, and more.
  5. Facilitated five energy-related, regional facilities manager workshops that resulted in 100% of participants agreeing the overall benefit of knowledge gained was between “satisfactory” and “excellent.”

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