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Hilpipre Honored by Southeast Polk Board of Education for Energy Savings to District

Mr. Rodney Hilpipre, former energy manager for the Southeast Polk Community School District, was honored by the school’s board of directors on May 18, 2017, for his 15 years of service and dedication to the district. Mr. Hilpipre’s efforts helped the district achieve more than $5 million in energy savings, resulting in a reduction of approximately 38 percent in energy usage during his time in the position.


“Rodney challenges all of us to do better for our students,” said Lori Slings, Southeast Polk Community School District board member. “He challenges us to save energy.  He knows we can do better and pushes that bar higher every day.”


The cost of utilities is the second largest operational budget line-item for Southeast Polk, and the price for electricity, natural gas, heating oil, and water have steadily increased through the years. To combat the rising energy and utility costs, the board of directors entered into a partnership with Cenergistic, LLC (formerly known as Energy Education) in 2001, to work with the district’s energy manager to implement a comprehensive organizational-behavior based energy conservation program. This energy conservation program continues to save taxpayer dollars, allowing the district to be fiscally responsible while preserving important programs and being good stewards of the environment.


“I thank Rodney for his undying determination to save on energy costs and making our district better every day,” stated Slings. “I love him for his fight, for keeping us in check and for striving to make us much better as a district. I cannot thank him enough. He is forever a SEP Ram!”


In addition to serving as the district’s energy manager until 2016, Hilpipre was employed as a teacher for more than 30 years. He retired from this role in 2010.  He continues to serve the district today as a substitute teacher and an advocate for energy conservation.  


Hilpipre shared he would like to see the energy program at Southeast Polk move at a much faster pace than he was able to achieve.  


“Continuing to conserve energy and protect the environment are important issues for all of us,” Hilpipre explained. “It allows the district to prioritize and not spend money on things they shouldn’t have to spend it on.”


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