Focus on Energy: Grace Lutheran School reduces heating costs by 29 percent


Mark Treichel

Hoffman York

(414) 225-9554

[email protected]

– School saves over $7,000 annually from energy saving measures –

MADISON, Wis. (March 16, 2009) – Snow and ice didn’t dampen school spirit at Grace Lutheran School in Oshkosh, Wis. The school recently enjoyed a 29 percent reduction on its heating bill after making a few energy efficient improvements. Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative, awarded the school $1,800 in financial incentives to help get the energy saving projects underway.

“We had a lot of ideas to save energy and called Focus on Energy last fall for help,” said Axel Peikert, HVAC technician and boiler operator at Grace Lutheran School. “Focus performed an energy evaluation on our entire building and worked with us to come up with some ways to save energy and money.”

To boosts its energy efficiency efforts, the school insulated steam, condensate and hot water pipes throughout the building. Insulating high temperature piping greatly reduces heat loss. The school also insulated its boiler breeching with two-inch thick mineral wool and the condensate tank with two-inch thick rigid fiberglass.

In addition, the school achieved significant savings by reducing room temperature during night and weekend hours and cutting back the use of its steam boiler. The costs of operating the steam boiler averaged $100 per day. It was used to heat parts of the building that could also be heated by the school’s existing hot water boiler or forced air rooftop unit. These alternatives are less costly to run and provide plenty of heat. In very cold temperatures, the steam boiler can still be utilized if needed.

The school also installed a variable-frequency drive in its field house that controls the fan system by reducing the airflow while still providing adequate ventilation. This saves $2,000 annually and reduces unnecessary wear and tear on components – resulting in decreased maintenance and increased operating life.

Not only do these projects save energy and money, but they are environmentally friendly as well. The annual environmental benefits are equivalent to offsetting 95 barrels of oil from being burned – eliminating 74,400 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. The school will also save over $7,000 annually on its energy bills.

“Working with Focus on Energy was very easy and we are happy to reduce our school’s carbon footprint,” Peikert explained. “I hope more schools take advantage of the program.”

“There are many things schools can do to boost their energy efficiency efforts,” said Ken Williams, Focus on Energy’s director of business programs. “We provide free energy evaluations for schools throughout the state to promote cost effective energy improvements.”

Focus on Energy also helps Wisconsin residents and businesses install energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in an effort to manage rising energy costs, promote in-state economic development, protect our environment and control the state’s growing demand for electricity.

For more information on Focus on Energy’s Business Programs, call (800) 762-7077 or visit

About Grace Lutheran School

Grace Lutheran School opened in 1883 and serves as the education arm of Grace Lutheran Church. Nearly 130 students in pre-K through eighth grade are taught by a professional staff of divinely called pastors and teachers who have been trained to provide a thorough, well-rounded, Christ-centered education. All grades, including their exceptional Kindergarten, offer an excellent student to teacher ratio, and for the first time the school offers a free three- and four-year old Kindergarten program which is already filled to capacity. To learn more about Grace Lutheran School, visit .

About Focus on Energy

Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Focus information, resources and financial incentives help to implement projects that otherwise would not be completed, or to complete projects sooner than scheduled. Its efforts help Wisconsin residents and businesses manage rising energy costs, promote in-state economic development, protect our environment and control the state’s growing demand for electricity and natural gas. For more information, call (800) 762-7077 or visit