2011-11-09, Jim Mulhauser, Energy Efficiency in the Las Cruces Public Schools

After a prelude of World War I music in honor of Armistice Day (thanks, Anita!), at 12:13 p.m., President Ross Ramsey called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance.  Barbara Rose Farber’s invocation preceded Earl Phillips introducing the singing of “God Bless America” with a short history of the Irving Berlin classic.  After our “meet and greet,” President Ross introduced visiting Rotarian Peter Krebs from the Rio Grande club, back for the second consecutive week.  President Ross asked Rotarians to introduce their guests before he re-introduced our four high school student guests. 

Jim BerryJim Berry gave a great classification talk about making connections with his new club.  To help him get to know each of us, he invited us to visit with him about Munich, military intelligence, Roy Orbison, field events like shot and discus, growing tomatoes (like in his hometown in Warren, Arkansas), and bass fishing.  His description of kissing those bass on the lips got a great reaction! 

President Ross then led the singing of “Happy Birthday” for Rotarians with November birthdays.  Walter Burleson and Andy TaylorPaulina Salopek gave some happy dollars to be home from her visits to Connecticut, where she was greeted by the earliest snowstorm there in 150 years, and Florida, where it rained the entire time she was there.  Paul Comeau told us about the choral concert series at the university, including the following weekend’s concerts featuring this year’s artist-in-residence, NMSU alumna Kirsten Chavez.  Dave O’Brien was happy to have had a visit to his four-year-old granddaughter in Phoenix.  Barbara Law was the mystery greeter. 

The Program— Jim Mulhauser, “Energy Efficiency in the Las Cruces Public Schools”

November program chair Ted Shelton presented speaker Jim Mulhauser.  Before his current role in energy education with the Las Cruces Public Schools, Jim taught fourth grade at Jornada Elementary and taught math and science at Picacho Middle School.  He also was assistant principal at Camino Real Middle School and worked as a science program advisor. 

Jim MulhauserMulhauser began by telling us about Energy Education (EE), a Dallas based company that partners with school districts, large churches, and similar institutions to assist with energy conservation.  Through programs focused on changing behaviors, rather than facilities, EE usually facilitates a 20% to 30% reduction in energy consumption.  The cost of the program is funded through the existing utilities budget; e.g., the program pays for itself in energy savings. LCPS logo


For Las Cruces Public Schools, utility costs were $4 million in the base year.  EE guaranteed $1.1 million in savings the first year, and projects a ten year total savings of $13 to $15 million.  This is accomplished by changing behaviors to maintain comfort, but minimize energy use in each facility when not being used, and by optimizing energy-consuming systems. 

Jim MulhauserMulhauser and partner Sean Barham spend 80% of their time in system buildings, schools and other facilities.  There, they look at everything including lighting, HVAC, water, occupancy patterns, athletics programs, and those little LED lights on speakers, VCRs, computers, etc.  Savings achieved in the first 13 months are about 16% of the base year energy consumption, saving nearly $900 thousand in total; this is the energy equivalent of taking 722 cars off the road for that period.  Some of this was achieved through school board adopted guidelines for hours of building occupation; trimming about 3 hours per day on each facility has saved $375 million.  The energy educators have a set of expectations for principals and facility managers:  be supportive, set the example, help advisors understand the facility, help with noncompliance, read audits and summary reports, and take actions to support those reports. 

After the Program

Paulina Salopek won the 50/50 drawing and reported that $28 was raised for El Caldito Soup Kitchen, before the meeting closed with recitation of the Four-Way Test. 

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Guests of Rotarians



Elsie Bonfantini

Jim Maxon

Katie Tomicek

Jim Maxon

Sherry Franzoy

Alex Keatts

Walter Burleson

Andy Taylor

Visiting Rotarians


Home Club

Peter Krebs

Rio Grande

Student Guests



Jacob Makens


Haley Bloomquist


Rafael Ulivarri


Carly Brack

Mesilla Valley Christian







Submitted by Bill Harty Bill Harty