Four Elementary Schools Receive Energy Star Certification
Other schools may be added to the benchmark as applications are processed.
Antietam, Enterprise, Lake Ridge, and Westridge elementary schools are the first buildings in the Prince William County school division to be ranked energy efficient by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The four schools received the energy star rating by the EPA after some retrofitted building improvements were made. School behaviors, such as shutting off lights when leaving a room, also contributed to the benchmark.
"The EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification is recognition of our energy efficiency efforts,” said Brian Gorham, administrative coordinator for energy management for PWCS in a prepared statement. "Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs.”
The schools reached the benchmark through a combination of facilities retrofits such as lighting, improved water conservation, operational changes to the hours which a piece of equipment runs, and by altering the way users interact with a facility such as more conscious turning-out-of-the-lights, and turning off faucets and computers, said Gorham.
The school division said the schools reached Energy Start status by changing the energy-using behaviors at school:
"In addition to building improvements, these schools promoted environmental awareness and changed the way they use energy.
At Enterprise Elementary, the increased the use of technology to communicate brought a huge decrease in copy machine use. The introduction of room dehumidifiers has eased the demand for air conditioners. “Once a month the school promotes a “Green” day where all students, teachers, and classrooms strive to not use any new paper,” said Principal Melanie McClure.
Linda Moniuszko, principal of Antietam Elementary School, shared how their school community joined in the effort.
“Our students participated in projects that reminded students and staff to turn off running water in sinks and water fountains, and lights in classrooms. They also created commercial messages on energy efficiency and played them during our Morning News Show.”
Lake Ridge and Westridge Elementary Schools are actively represented on the PWCS Sustainable Schools Committee, which hosts a multimedia blog on efforts to reduce energy use in the School Division. Schools can enroll by volunteering a coordinator through the Office of Energy Management. Teachers may earn recertification points for participating."