That means new schools, and other buildings, funded by state taxpayers are built smart, so taxpayers pay less for electricity every month.
In 2013, the Lake Stevens School District is taking that idea even further – and saving even more money.
The school has an energy specialist, Barb Ossowski, who trains teachers and staff how to cut energy costs.
Read the full KING 5 story here: Energy conservation spares Lake Stevens School District from cuts
|Rep. Hans Dunshee|
Since March 2010, the district has seen a 34 percent energy reduction, which amounts to about $1.5 million in savings. Instead of going towards utility bills, that money is used going back into classrooms.
"Keeping money in our own pockets for our school and our children and that's what we're in the business for," said Ossowski.
The effort has funded new textbooks, an AP class and spared teacher and staff positions from being cut.
"We're also being good stewards of the environment," she said.
The Lake Stevens School District was recently honored by the Environmental Protection Agency with an "Energy Star Award" for its energy efficiency, one of only four in the state with that distinction.
For more about the state's efforts on green building, click here.
Read this story in Spanish here.