This has been a busy summer for Charlottesville's clean energy efforts. Following on the visit by Gov. Kaine to unveil SmartGrid Charlottesville on June 16, the visit by President Obama's top environmental advisors to highlight our new clean energy financing program on June 23, the announcement of a highly-competitive $500,000 grant from the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance for our new Local Energy Alliance Program on July 20, and the positive plug in this morning's Wall Street Journal, this afternoon brought yet more exciting news: five of our City schools (Johnson, Jackson-Via, Venable, Clark, and Burnley-Moran) have received the prestigious "ENERGY STAR" designation from the Environmental Protection Agency in recognition of their superior efforts to reduce energy consumption. These are the first schools in our region to qualify for this honor. Thanks and congratulations go to the many City and School staff who made this day possible, particularly Lance Stewart with Public Works and Assistant Superintendent Jim Henderson of the City Schools.
From the press release:
Energy conservation efforts initiated at Charlottesville's schools have included utility tracking and monthly analysis of all school facilities; upgrading to energy-saving lighting fixtures and low wattage lighting; installing occupancy sensors; re-commissioning and upgrading less energy efficient HVAC system equipment; utilization of building automation for lighting and HVAC systems (including after-hours set-back operations on all building temperature controls); and installation of low-flow and automatic flush valves.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awards the ENERGY STAR, the national symbol for superior energy efficiency and environmental protection, to signify that a building’s energy performance rates in the top 25 percent of facilities nationwide. Commercial buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR use an average of 40 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
EPA’s national energy performance rating system provides a 1-100 scale that helps organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy relative to similar buildings nationwide. A building that scores a rating of 75 or higher is eligible for the ENERGY STAR. The scoring system not only accounts for energy use and size, but also the building’s usage, the number of people in it, type of equipment, and hours of operation.
ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. For more information about ENERGY STAR visit www.energystar.gov.
(L-R) Johnson Principal Vernon Bock, Assistant Superintendent Jim Henderson, and Lance Stewart of Public Works unveil the new "ENERGY STAR" plaque at Johnson Elementary