In the early 1980s, Cenergistic’s chairman and founder Dr. William S. Spears was elected to the school board in Wichita Falls, Texas, 120 miles northwest of Dallas. Bill’s desire to serve the Wichita Falls community and the youth attending local public schools, combined with his life-long passion for education, resulted in his service on the school board.
During his tenure as a school board member, he and his colleagues, much like any school board, consistently strived to achieve academic excellence while challenged with an always-tightening budget. Even though budget constraints were severe, Bill always focused on placing as much money as possible directly into the classroom.
Bill’s desire to increase classroom resources by decreasing the amount spent on other budget line items focused his attention on potential operational savings. Because Wichita Falls was adding air conditioning to 22 schools, a 66% increase, prospects for decreasing overall spending were bleak. However, Bill saw an opportunity to decrease at least one large budget line item — energy and utility expenses. He was specifically interested in sustainable savings, which he determined could be achieved through changing human behavior throughout the district.
Over the course of the next few years, Bill continued to serve on the school board while working to design a utility savings program that would transform district personnel and students from energy consumers to energy savers. Soon, it was clear to Bill that utility costs could be significantly decreased without sacrificing classroom comfort and without buying millions of dollars of new equipment. Bill presented his concept and program to his school board colleagues, and they agreed to implement his money-saving effort, which required no upfront capital investment.
Several years later, the Wichita Falls school district had dramatically decreased utility spending and was using the savings to further many classroom educational initiatives. Despite increasing the number of schools with air conditioning from 11 to 33, the energy program caused actual electricity costs to decrease in the year following the retrofit work. Bill had created and implemented a proven energy savings program right in his hometown for the school district he served.
Not long after his initial success, both the U.S. Department of Energy and the State of Texas presented the district and Bill with a prestigious Energy Innovation Award (1986) for his energy conservation success accomplished through organizational and behavioral change.
Since 1986, Bill Spears’ desire to put as many dollars to work for clients by reducing their utility costs has resulted in more than $3.3 billion in savings for more than 1,200 clients across the nation. From his determined days as a school board member, Bill Spears and his company, originally named Energy Education, are recognized today as the national leader in energy conservation.