Rockford Area Schools Qualifies for Energy Star Certification
Rockford Area Schools was recently notified that the district qualifies for Energy Star certification with outstanding scores of 75 or higher at each of their buildings.
Energy efficiency is vital to schools in the United States. The nation’s 17,450 K-12 school districts spend more than $5 billion annually on energy. In addition to helping school districts save up to 30 percent on their energy bills each year, energy efficiency prevents greenhouse gas emissions and improves the students’ learning environment. EPA, through its ENERGY STAR partnership program, provides schools with guidelines for superior energy management built on the practices of leading organizations. (Source: US EPA, www.energystar.gov)
At Rockford Area Schools, the Energy Star scores are as follows: Rockford Elementary Arts Magnet School is 88 EUI (Energy Use Index), Rockford Middle School Center for Environmental Studies is 96 EUI, and the Rockford High School is 82 EUI. The national average is 68.
“The high school is the biggest energy user as it is the biggest building and the most utilized by the public, therefore its energy efficiency is the lowest,” said James Leuer, director of buildings and grounds, “Utilizing our solar power at all buildings also has lowered our energy use quite a bit.” Buildings that have earned the ENERGY STAR use about 40 percent less energy than average buildings and are as energy efficient as similar buildings in the nation’s top quartile.
Rockford Area Schools plans to maintain or continue improving the efficiency of their buildings through managing demand and lowering natural gas consumption through various strategies. They hope to capitalize on the environmental benefits and cost savings that will result.
Superintendent Paul Durand said, “The efficiencies seen through this Energy Star report can directly be tied to the building improvements we have made in recent years. Because of the funds provided by the bond approved by voters in 2012, improvements were made that included replacing the boilers in the middle and high schools, performing roofing maintenance in all buildings, adding sealants and tuck-pointing in all buildings and updating plumbing and electrical to name a few.”