By Stephanie Sharp —
At the school board meeting last night, seven Escambia county schools were presented with Energy Star awards. The Energy Star program from the EPA promotes energy efficiency as both a smart financial and environmental decision. Yes, it is the same program used to rate home appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators. The program also recognizes the most energy efficient buildings.
In the US, half of fossil-fuel energy consumption happens in commercial buildings and 30% or more of that energy is wasted. The Energy Star Program promotes the exploration of what is possible to conserve resources and funds.
The work done in Escambia County schools eliminated 12,000 metric tons of harmful emissions from the environment. That would be comparable to the benefits of planting 312 seedlings and letting them grow for ten years.
By leaving no stone unturned, the seven award-winning Escambia County schools reduced their energy usage by 23% and saved the district $2.5 million in energy costs.
The seven schools recognized as Energy Star award winners are: Beulah Elementary, Jim Allen Elementary, Blue Angel Elementary, Lincoln Park Elementary, Ferry Pass Elementary, A.K. Suter Elementary, and Escambia Westgate School.
There are three more Escambia County schools in the application process to become Energy Star schools.
By becoming Energy Star award winners, these schools are having a positive impact on the environment as well as the budget for the school district; their impact will benefit future students in multiple ways for years to come.