The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced last week that Colorado ranks second in the nation in schools earning the prestigious Energy Star, the national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency.
Colorado’s 2009 Energy Star roster includes 116 schools, placing the state second behind Michigan.
New York, Virginia and Indiana also appear in the top five. The Energy Star designation signifies that these school buildings perform in the top 25% of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency.
“EPA commends the commitment and stewardship exemplified by those who manage Colorado’s schools,” said Patty Crow of EPA’s Energy Star program in Denver. “These facilities are finding ways to save operating costs and reduce pollution.”
“The vanguard of our mission to promote energy management in Colorado's schools has been our strategic partnership with Energy Star,” said Eric Anderson, chairman of the Colorado Association of School District Energy Managers.
Schools that earn the Energy Star use an average of 35% less energy than typical buildings and also release 35% less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The Colorado Association of School District Energy Managers has made energy performance a priority by encouraging strategic energy management and making cost-effective improvements to buildings.
EPA’s Energy Star performance scale helps organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy relative to similar buildings nationwide. A building that scores a 75 or higher on EPA’s 1-100 scale is eligible for the Energy Star. Commercial buildings that can earn the designation include offices, bank branches, financial centers, retail stores, courthouses, hospitals, hotels, K-12 schools, medical offices, supermarkets, dormitories, houses of worship and warehouses.
Energy Star was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products, new homes and commercial and industrial buildings.
Last year alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved nearly $17 billion on their energy bills while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 30 million vehicles.
Colorado 2009 K-12 Energy Star-Labeled Schools by District:
• Academy School District 20 (9)
• Adams 12 School District (7)
• Canon City Schools (4)
• Cherry Creek School District 5 (18)
• Colorado Springs School District #11 (20)
• Eagle County School District RE-50J (1)
• Elbert County School District C-2 (2)
• Lewis Palmer School District (1)
• Mesa County School District #51 (20)
• Poudre School District (32)
• Stratton School District (1)
• Vista Ridge Academy (1)
• Total: 116